Nothing builds confidence like a sparkling white smile. And teeth whitening treatments have never been more popular. From ZOOM whitening to custom-fit bleaching trays, modern dentistry offers a number of whitening options that fit any lifestyle. Regardless of the method chosen, there are a few simple tips that can add longevity to a ‘new’ whiter, brighter smile. After all, once you receive a whitening treatment, the results are a gift that keeps on giving. You not only receive a gorgeous smile but a boost in self-confidence; an investment that reaps higher rewards socially and personally.
Over the years I’ve performed thousands of whitening treatments, and noticed a pattern in certain cases. Every once in a while someone will ignore post treatment instructions, whether they’re conscious of it or not, and the result is a smile that doesn’t meet their expectations. For some reason their smile didn’t stay as white as they expected, or the results just didn’t last as long as they thought it would. The reality is most of us cannot avoid foods and liquids that stain teeth for a lifetime. It just isn’t practical or desirable. But it is a key factor in keeping those teeth as white as long as possible after whitening with carbamide hydroxide or hydrogen peroxide.
So, here’s my quick list of things that can ruin your whitening treatment soon after you flash that beautiful smile.
- You don’t stay away from drinks that stain for 2 days after in office bleaching. For at least 48 hours after a whitening treatment stay away from foods that can darken your smile. If you can make it a week, even better. The tooth enamel after a whitening treatment is especially porous and absorbs color like crazy, so it’s extremely important to avoid coffee, tea, dark soda or wine. Think of your teeth as if it were a white t-shirt. Anything that can stain a white shirt will more than likely stain your teeth. The best thing you can do to help with the whitening process is to avoid dark liquids and foods for 48 hours after a Zoom whitening treatment. Of course, an option is to use a straw when drinking dark liquids such as wine and coffee and tea.
- You suddenly decide to take up smoking. Even though the percentage of people who chew or smoke tobacco is decreasing some people do it casually or socially. This is one time when it’s best to abstain from tobacco.
- You feast on blueberries and other dark-colored foods throughout your in-home treatment or immediately after Zoom whitening. Dark foods like soy sauce and tomato sauce can also discolor teeth after a whitening treatment. It’s best to avoid them for the first 48 hours after treatment. Now, staying away from the dark foods you love is nearly impossible. But you can minimize discoloration by rinsing and even brushing your teeth with toothpaste that whitens for touch-ups.
- You decide to whiten your teeth without checking with your dentist first. If you’re on medication for high blood pressure or taking antihistamines check with your dentist before whitening your teeth. Some medications, including some antipsychotic drugs can stain teeth. Even antibiotic mouth rinses prescribed by dentists, like cetylpyridinium chloride or chlorohexidine can cause tooth stains. (These can easily be polished off, though.) In some cases a brown or white mottling called fluorosis where there has been an excessive use of fluoride can be corrected with dental bonding or a process called enamel microabrasion. Bonding composites or porcelain veneers can cover tooth enamel that cannot be corrected with simple teeth whitening or bleaching treatments.
At Dr. Mark Langberg, DDS, MAGD, PC, we make your healthy and pleasing smile our first priority. If you’re thinking of getting your teeth whitened or just reduce stains or discoloration and would like to know your options, contact us at (248) 356- 8790 for a no cost consultation. Come and see for yourself the difference a great dentist can make!
Until Next Time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD
Your Southfield Family Dentist
Tel: (248) 356-8790