Professional teeth whitening helps your smile look bright and stain-free but the reality is, they won’t stay pearly white forever – especially if you keep up old habits. Following your teeth whitening appointments, an aftercare routine is a good idea.
Teeth have a layer called the acquired pellicle, designed to protect the more sensitive parts. Yet, this is where stains emerge. Teeth whitening and dental cleaning remove this barrier, albeit temporarily, and open the enamel’s pores in the process.
It takes 24 hours for the layer to regenerate and as such, the longevity of whitening hinges on the 48 hours following the procedure. Keep the following tips in mind.
Foods and Habits to Avoid
Particularly in the 48 hours after your teeth whitening procedure, avoid anything acid-based, including soda, pickles and citrus fruits like orange and lemon. Also steer clear of foods that easily create stains:
- Red white
- Fruit juices
- Soy sauce
- Cured meats
- Curry powder
During this stage, your teeth are vulnerable to staining and decay. Consuming these items not only negates the effects of the whitening procedure but could also set your teeth up for long-term damage.
Also think about other things you put in your mouth that could cause stains. Along with certain food choices, avoid using colored toothpastes, tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
What can you eat during the first 48 hours? Ideally, anything that’s white or light in color and non-acidic is less likely to stain. Be sure to have a sufficient supply of:
- Skinless chicken breasts
- Cottage cheese
Once the 48-hour period passes, consider supplementing these foods with lighter-colored fruits like apples and bananas and crunchy, acid-neutralizing vegetables, like carrots, green beans and celery. Dairy products also help strengthen your teeth and reduce decay.
If you eat something dark-colored, be sure to rinse your mouth out afterwards and brush your teeth. If you are on-the-go, chew some sugar-free gum within 20 minutes of finishing your meal.
Aside from the type of food, also think about its temperature. Your recently whitened teeth may be extremely sensitive to hot and cold sensations. Avoid anything too extreme in either direction and, for the time being, consider using an anti-sensitivity toothpaste.
Additional Aftercare Habits
In addition to anti-sensitivity toothpaste, be sure to brush and floss each day, and clean off your tongue. For most patients, sensitivity lasts one to three days. In the meantime, consider using ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lessen the sensation. After the 48 hours, you can resume mouthwash usage.
Our dentists will also provide some at-home whitening trays. These are supplemental and extend the effects of the initial procedure, yet you need to be strategic. Otherwise, you’ll increase tooth sensitivity:
- Consider using the at-home trays once every six months, especially if you’re a regular coffee or wine drinker.
- One tray should last for multiple days. Add the whitening gel to the tray and leave it in your mouth for one to two hours. However, don’t do more than two touch-ups during a single period.
Interested in professional teeth whitening? Contact Smile Dental Center to learn more!