Whether you're looking to freshen your smile before a special event like a wedding, or you're just tired of looking at yellow stains when you brush your teeth, professional tooth whitening treatments can give you the bright, white smile that you've been looking for. But once your teeth have been whitened, it's up to you to maintain your new look. Take a look at some tips that can help you keep your newly whitened smile in great shape:
DO: Drink Through a Straw
So many beverages have a staining effect on your teeth. Red juice, dark coffee, soda, wine, and even tea. Really, the only beverage that you can be certain won't contribute to tooth stains is water.
Drinking more water is great for your health and your teeth, and your dentist may recommend that you stick to just water for the first few days after your treatment. But even after that, it's best to keep those staining beverages away from your teeth. Drinking through a straw can help. The straw funnels the liquid to the middle of your mouth, away from your teeth, so that you can swallow without getting the liquid all over your newly whitened teeth.
DON'T: Eat Highly Staining Foods Just For a Few Days
In the first few days after your treatment, it's not just beverages that you have to worry about. The whitening treatment temporarily expands the pores in your tooth enamel, and until they contract again, your teeth will absorb color much more easily than they usually do. It's important to avoid munching on foods that are likely to stain.
Think of all the foods that you usually avoid eating when you're wearing white. Spaghetti with red sauce, brightly-colored popsicles, juicy cherries and blueberries, thick beef stew. If it will stain your favorite white dress or shirt, then it will probably stain your teeth as well. After a few days pass, the pores will contract and you'll be able to go back to eating normally again.
DO: Pass on Very Hot or Cold Food and Drinks
This is not the time to binge on ice cream or gulp down a steaming cup of hot cider, even if those are less likely to stain than other foods or drinks. While you're avoiding food and beverages that stain, you should also make sure that the temperatures are just right – neither too hot nor too cold.
Why? For one thing, if your meals or drinks are too hot or too cold, this can expand the pores in your enamel even more. So if you're eating or drinking something that may stain, it will be even more likely to stain if the temperature is too high or too low. But there's another reason as well. It's common to experience tooth sensitivity in the days following your tooth whitening treatment. Extreme temperatures can exacerbate tooth sensitivity and leave you in pain.
DON'T: Smoke or Use Tobacco Products
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are a common culprit when it comes to tooth staining. If you want to maintain a white smile, quitting permanently is the best thing you can do for yourself. If you can't do that, you should at least refrain from smoking or using tobacco for a few days following the teeth whitening procedure.
Tooth whitening isn't permanent. Eventually, your teeth will begin to look yellow again. But by taking care to avoid staining, especially during the days following tooth whitening treatment, you can extend the amount of time that your smile stays bright and white.
Up until a year ago, I did my best to keep my teeth and gums clean. But after securing a new job, I began to work late into the night and didn't have the time or energy to brush and floss before I retired to bed. My busy schedule and poor dental hygiene finally affected my teeth and gums. After experiencing severe pain in several of my teeth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist examined my mouth and discovered three large cavities in my molars. After four long weeks, my dentist finally completed my dental work. I learned a very painful lesson during that time. No matter how busy you are, always brush and floss. I started this blog to inform other people about the importance of good dental care. I hope you find the time to read it. Thanks for visiting.