Professional tooth whitening treatments can reverse stains and give amazing results you can’t get at home. Tooth whitening can increase your confidence and transform your smile. However, to maintain that beautiful smile, there are several limitations you must follow after the whitening procedure. Luckily, these only apply for the first 48 hours. Then, you can return back to your normal routines.
Why the Strict Guidelines?
Tooth whitening treatments open up the pores on your teeth (think like the pores on your face) and take time after the procedure to fully close up. The open pores make it easier for your teeth to absorb stains and discolouration for the first 48 hours after treatment.
Foods to Avoid After a Teeth Whitening
Foods and Drinks Dark in Colour
Following a whitening treatment, your teeth are temporarily more porous, meaning they can absorb colour and stain easier than normal. This effect will go away, but it is good in general to avoid staining foods to maintain whitened teeth. As a general rule of thumb, anything that would stain a white shirt is going to stain your teeth. Some examples of foods to avoid are:
- Soy sauce
- Red wine
Acidic Foods and Beverages
Some patients find that tooth whitening temporarily increases the sensitivity of their teeth. Acidic foods are irritating to not only the teeth but also the gums. Some foods and drinks to avoid are:
- Fruits other than bananas
- Processed meats
Hot and Cold
Consuming anything too hot or too cold can also irritate tooth sensitivity. You should stay away from hot and cold beverages, replacing them with room temperature water. Also, you should make sure your food is properly cooled down before eating.
Avoiding acidic and staining foods and beverages as much as possible, even after the 48-hour period, is a good habit to maintain. It will help sustain the results of the tooth whitening for a long period of time. After seeing your improved smile, you will probably be motivated to remove some unhealthy food choices.
Following tooth whitening, your diet is going to be pretty plain for the next 48 hours. You should eat foods that are white in colour to avoid staining teeth. The following are some examples of safe foods:
- Chicken (skinless, not breaded)
- White rice
- White pasta
- White fish
- Egg whites
- White low-fat yogurt
You should avoid snacks like chips and cookies. Some good alternatives for snack foods are:
- Cheese (the calcium is beneficial to your teeth)
As an alternative to coffee, tea, and soda, you can drink the following beverages:
- Tonic water
- Skim milk
- White lemonade
If you are a smoker, you should avoid smoking for at least 24 hours after teeth whitening. Smoking in general stains the teeth and should be avoided to maintain your freshly whitened teeth.
Tooth Brushing and Mouthwash
To allow your teeth to re-mineralise after whitening, you should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Also, if your toothpaste is coloured (red or blue for example), make sure to have some plain, white toothpaste in your home. Your teeth will be extra sensitive to staining. Most mouthwash is coloured as well and should be avoided for 48 hours after a tooth whitening treatment.
After the time and money spent on a tooth whitening treatment, you are going to want to maintain the results. Proper care and maintenance of your teeth will assure you will have white teeth long after the initial results.
Brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once a day will help maintain a stain-free mouth. Flossing can help prevent stains between teeth that are hard to reach with just brushing alone.
If possible, it is also a good habit to brush right after having staining beverages such a red wine or coffee and starchy food that sticks to the teeth such as chips or cookies. If you are unable to brush, then swishing water in your mouth after eating can help keep staining foods and drinks off the teeth. Make a habit of keeping a water bottle, dental flossers, and disposable toothbrushes on you.
Regular Dental Visits
Regular six-month cleanings and dental exams are not only essential to the overall health of your teeth and mouth but can also help you maintain pearly white teeth. Dental hygienists are specially trained and have special tools to remove tartar off your teeth.
When you brush at home you can remove plaque. But when plaque builds up, it mineralises into tartar. This is a substance you cannot remove with brushing alone. Not only does tartar cause cavities, but it can also stain your teeth.
Professional At-Home Whitening
Even with adequate care, regular dental visits, and removing coffee and smoking from your lifestyle, stains can return. It is normal for teeth to slightly stain over time. If you do not want to return for another whitening treatment, you can ask your dentist for in-home professional whitening.
Your dentist can make a custom tray for your mouth that is filled with a professional whitening solution. At-home treatments are not as effective as in-office, but they are less expensive and can help get back to the shade you want.
Before using any whitening or bleaching products, always consult your dentist. Over-whitening can affect the sensitivity and health of your teeth. Having white teeth is nice, but your tooth and oral health should always come first.
Our experienced team at Vellore Woods Dental offers professional tooth whitening with your comfort and personal needs in mind. We provide you with an extensive inspection that will provide you with a unique whitening recommendation for your teeth. If you want a whiter, healthier smile, contact Vellore Woods Dental at 906-417-5550 to set up a consultation today.