Teeth Whitening Aftercare
Why Teeth Whitening Aftercare Matters
Professional teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment that can help you achieve a bright, beautiful smile. However, it’s important to understand that the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment aren’t permanent. Without proper maintenance, your teeth can begin to stain and lose their brightness over time.
Our Atlanta dentist has created this helpful guide to ensure you have the tools necessary to increase the longevity of the results of your teeth whitening treatment.
Understanding Teeth Staining
To effectively maintain your professional teeth whitening results, it’s important to understand the causes of teeth staining. By understanding how teeth stain, you can make more informed decisions about the foods and beverages you consume, as well as make adjustments to your oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Some of the most common causes of teeth staining include:
- Consuming dark-colored foods and beverages
- Smoking or using other tobacco products
- Poor oral hygiene practices
- Certain medications and medical conditions
Tips for Maintaining Teeth Whitening Results
Practice Proper Oral Hygiene
Practicing proper oral hygiene is a crucial part of teeth whitening aftercare. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once a day, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups can help keep your teeth healthy and bright.
Our dentist can also provide tips and advice for maintaining your whitening results based on your needs and concerns.
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is an effective way to maintain your teeth whitening results. It contains mild abrasives and special ingredients that remove surface stains and prevent new ones from forming. However, if your teeth have significant staining, a touch-up treatment with your dentist may be necessary. Use this toothpaste as directed and avoid overuse to prevent tooth sensitivity or enamel damage.
Be sure to talk to our dentist about the best whitening toothpaste for your needs and how often you should use it to maintain your newly whitened teeth.
Avoid Staining Foods and Drinks
Avoiding foods and drinks that are known to cause staining can help you maintain your teeth-whitening results for longer. Some common staining culprits include coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored berries. If you do consume these foods and drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterward and brush your teeth as soon as possible to minimize staining.
Additionally, using a straw to drink beverages can help prevent contact with your teeth and reduce the risk of staining.
Quitting smoking can have a significant impact on the brightness of your teeth and overall oral health. The nicotine and tar found in cigarettes can cause yellowing and staining of the teeth, and smoking can also lead to gum disease and other oral health issues. By quitting smoking, you can help prevent further staining and discoloration of your teeth, and improve the overall health of your mouth.
If you’re struggling to quit smoking, talk to our dentist or healthcare provider for tips and resources to help you quit for good.
Consider Touch-Up Treatments
Over time, your teeth may begin to lose their brightness, even with proper maintenance. If you notice that your teeth are becoming stained or discolored, a touch-up treatment with our dentist can help restore their brightness. Our dentists may use the same professional teeth whitening products or techniques that were used in your initial treatment, or they may recommend a different approach based on your specific needs.
Depending on the severity of the staining or discoloration, one or more touch-up teeth whitening treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired results. Talk to our dentist about your options for touch-up treatments and how often you should schedule them to maintain your professional teeth whitening results.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I get a touch-up treatment after professional whitening?
Most people need a touch-up 6 to 12 months after the initial whitening treatment, but your dentist can advise you based on the condition of your teeth. Avoiding foods and drinks that stain teeth can allow you to go longer between touch-ups.
Are at-home whitening strips effective for touch-ups?
Teeth whitening strips may help maintain some brightness but aren’t as effective as professional touch-ups. They also only whiten surface stains. For significant discoloration, professional touch-ups are best.
How do I know if whitening toothpaste is safe?
Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. The American Dental Association rigorously tests toothpaste before awarding their seal, so this ensures the toothpaste meets their safety and effectiveness standards.
Check for abrasiveness rating, which measures the abrasive content. The lower the rating, the less abrasive and more gentle it is on your enamel. You should avoid toothpaste with high abrasive ratings. You can also ask your dentist which specific brands or formulas they recommend based on your dental needs.
Continue Consistent Efforts to Maintain Whitening Results
Maintaining your teeth whitening results requires consistent effort and commitment. By following the tips mentioned above, you can help keep your smile bright and beautiful for years to come. If you have any questions about maintaining your teeth whitening results, be sure to talk to our dentist.