You finally got whitening at the dental clinic, now the results will only last as long as you take care of your teeth. There is more oral care involved after teeth whitening than it is before it.
Therefore, you should begin looking after your teeth meticulously post-procedure.
This article highlights what you should be careful of after the procedure and what to avoid to prevent the teeth from staining again.
Keep reading below to know more.
Why Should You Get Teeth Whitening?
If your teeth are stained due to extrinsic and intrinsic stains then they will appear yellow.
Extrinsic stains are a result of food and drink consumption that stains the outer surface of the teeth.
these stains affect the enamel and usually occur because of colored food and drinks.
For instance, berries, coffee, tea and red wine.
Since these are only present on the outer surface of the teeth, you can easily get rid of them through teeth whitening procedures.
OTC whitening kits and natural home remedies can also work on extrinsic stains as they are only surface-level stains.
Hence, you can get cleaner and whiter teeth by only removing the visible stains.
This is not the same for intrinsic discoloration.
This discoloration occurs beneath the enamel and not on the surface level.
Underneath the enamel, there is dentin.
This layer is naturally darker than the enamel. However, the enamel covers it hence, hiding the yellower color.
As you age, the enamel starts to weaken. It can also thin out due to acidic food consumption.
Bacteria and acids can weaken the enamel leading to enamel erosion and exposing the darker layer of dentin underneath.
Besides that, illness and injury also play a part in discoloration. If a specific tooth is darker then it could point to an injury that needs attention.
Since, the intrinsic stains are not present on the enamel and are due to serious causes, it is harder to remove them through natural remedies.
Though, a few OTC kits may be able to penetrate the enamel and whiten the discoloration.
You will achieve the best results by getting professional dental whitening.
One such option is to get Teeth whitening Zoom.
Whitening teeth up to 8 shades.
However, the results will only last if you take good aftercare.
Longevity of Results After Teeth Whitening
The results after a teeth whitening treatment differ across procedures.
Moreover, it all also depends on the patient, the extent of discoloration of their teeth and how they will take care of it afterward.
The results will last longer for a dental procedure than with OTC kits.
For instance, results after using teeth whitening strips and gels, last as long as 4 months.
The process involves applying the product for 2 weeks, twice a day. It will not instantly whiten teeth but you will start to see the results in a few days’ time.
Since the bleaching agent is not as strong in these OTC kits, their results will last just as long.
The same cannot be said for professional dental whitening treatments.
Dentists will say that the results of an in-office treatment can last up to years.
Dentists use professional, high-grade whitening products and treatments that contain a stronger concentration and larger amount of the peroxide-based bleaching agent.
These high levels of peroxide base can only be administered by the dentist in a professional setting.
This amount of peroxide bleaching agent is not present in OTC products as it can lead to sensitivity.
Thus, your dentist will administer it carefully and apply anti-sensitivity gels so that you do not undergo tooth sensitivity.
Either way, it is hard to state that teeth whitening results will last a lifetime.
The care involved affects how a person’s whitening results will last.
For instance, some people come with heavily stained teeth. They will require more than one whitening treatment to get rid of the stains.
Though, their results will not be as long lasting either.
People with mild stains will only need one or two rounds. Plus, with proper oral care, they can achieve life-long results.
The severity of stains matters too.
If you want your teeth to stay whiter for a long time, then the first thing to do after the procedure is to make changes in your diet.
After getting professional teeth whitening, the dentin layer of the teeth is exposed and they become slightly porous.
This means that acidic and dark foods will easily absorb into your teeth causing staining.
Hence, for the next 48 hours, you should strictly follow the White Diet.
This will prevent you from consuming foods and drinks that contain dyes and pigments at least till the time the sensitivity goes away.
These natural pigments or artificial dyes build up on your teeth over time resulting in discoloration.
If you want to maintain results, you can limit these foods but you do not have to cut them off forever.
- Soft Drinks
- Wine/ Alcoholic Drinks
- Hot beverages such as coffee and tea
Soft drinks also known as carbonated drinks are full of acidic and sugary content.
These two can erode the enamel over time.
Moreover, they also contribute to leaving behind a stain because of their dark pigment.
It is a good idea to avoid these even if you are not following a white diet currently.
Alcoholic drinks may have their share of harm to teeth, however, red and white wine especially contribute to staining.
Red wine has a very dark pigment that can stick to the teeth to discolor it.
White wine does not have a stronger pigment however, it is acidic enough to break down the enamel. Red wine too is highly acidic.
Coffee and tea contain tannins.
These stick to the teeth, build up and darken over time.
After teeth whitening, tannins can stick to porous teeth even faster.
Hence, do not drink any coffee or tea for few days.
Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening
While beverages that discolor teeth are easier to guess, we are here to help and identify the foods that will stain your teeth.
Dark Colored Foods
This is obvious. Like dark-colored drinks, you also want to avoid foods whose dark pigment will stain your teeth.
Fruits with dark pigments and dark juices come in this category.
These include cherries, pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
Moreover, these fruits may also be high in acidic content so you want to avoid both fruits that are highly pigmented and highly acidic.
Such as lemon, mangoes, kiwis, lime, plum and oranges.
Though, fruits are generally healthy to eat so you can resume eating them after 48 hours.
Chocolate and Candy
As your teeth are sensitive post-whitening, it is important that you refrain from refining sugars.
These are present in candies, chocolates and other junk foods.
Some candies are sticky and contain natural or artificial dark pigments. It is certainly not a good idea to eat them right after whitening.
They can lead to erosion, discoloration and tooth sensitivity.
Hence, it is best to avoid them right after the procedure.
Vegetables and Spices
Besides these, avoid the use of colorful spices such as paprika turmeric and curry.
These are highly pigmented. While they add flavor to your foods, not eating for a while will not render your treatment useless.
Besides food, there are also colorful vegetables that can leave a stain on your teeth because of the pigmentation.
These include the likes of tomatoes, spinach and carrots.
Vegetables are usually good for your teeth. However, these have a darker color that can stain the newly whitened teeth.
Therefore, it is best to avoid them while you are giving your teeth a chance to recover from stains.
What Else Should You Be Doing?
Food and drinks are not the only precautionary measures to take.
Teeth also discolor because of smoking and poor oral health conditions.
Let’s find out what else you should refrain from.
Colored Dental Products
This is a surprising one, isn’t it?
Though, it should be an obvious one.
When you are refraining from colored drinks and foods then why not oral hygiene products.
Most dental products are not colored but you will find color in toothpaste and mouthwashes.
Colors such as blue, orange, purple and red are commonplace in both these products.
They can restain your teeth comparatively much faster than light-colored products.
Instead, you should go for toothpaste and mouthwash that is specifically made to counter sensitivity.
Smoking/ Chewing Tobacco
If you really want to maintain the whiteness of your teeth then you will have to quit smoking and other tobacco products such as chewing tobacco.
These will stain and restain your teeth fastly.
Moreover, it causes heavy yellow and brown stains that clearly look unappealing.
Hence, you will have to quit them to see long-lasting results.
Maintaining results after teeth whitening treatment is not difficult.
All you need to do is to keep a check on your diet and ensure that you are properly following a good oral care routine.
Skipping on brushing and flossing teeth will also quickly discolor your teeth after the treatment. Hence, keep up with your oral hygiene routine, don’t eat and drink dark-colored foods and beverages and quit smoking for the results to last longer.