It’s true that your teeth colour changes over time due to our food and eating habits. For some, the change in colour is subtle, while some experience excessive yellowing of teeth. Many people, therefore, opt for some form of teeth whitening treatment – be it professional or an over-the-counter one. It is a cosmetic treatment that lightens discoloured teeth and improves its appearance. Either way, it is important to take care of your teeth and follow basic aftercare measure after you get a teeth whitening treatment done.
How teeth whitening treatment works?
There are many ways in which you can whiten your teeth. A professional teeth whitening treatment involves a visit to the dentist who may apply hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide as the active ingredient, which are effective and safe teeth whitening agents. Your dentist may need to apply it multiple times depending on the severity of tooth discolouration. A professional teeth whitening treatment can whiten your teeth up to four-five shades lighter. There are also many teeth whitening products such as toothpastes, whitening strips etc. that help achieve whiter teeth . You can discuss with your dentist for guidance.
Teeth whitening aftercare
Irrespective of whether you’ve opted for a professional or at-home teeth whitening treatment, you would want the effect to last as long as possible. The first 48 hours after the treatment is paramount as the treatment leaves your teeth porous and sensitive, thus making it more likely to stain during this period. For this you need to be careful and follow certain teeth whitening aftercare measures .
After 48 hours of the treatment, you can eat certain foods that will help preserve the whiteness of your teeth such as apples, celery, carrots and green beans. Such crunchy vegetable and fruits boost saliva production and flow, thus aiding in cleaning your mouth and eliminating any acid retention.
If you love deep-coloured fruits such as berries, you don’t have to give them up altogether. You can make smoothies and drink it using a straw. The same applies for any other foods that can potentially stain your teeth. Using a straw is recommended to minimise staining.
Chewing whitening gum occasionally can help sustain your white teeth to an extent.
Use other teeth whitening products after a week or two. You may use teeth whitening toothpastes after the sensitivity has gone down. Using this toothpaste and toothbrush will help keep your teeth white for a longer period. Try the Oral-B Sensitive Whitening Toothbrush which is soft on your gums and tough on plaque. It is equipped with center bristles to gently remove surface stains. Its unique cup shaped bristles help reach inside the mouth more efficiently.
Strictly avoid foods that are deep-coloured and likely to stain your teeth for the first 48 hours, preferable even for a week. Foods such as tea, coffee, coloured soda, red wine, beetroot, chocolates, dark sauces and berries are usually the ones to keep at bay.
In the long run, avoid foods and drinks that are acidic such as soda, pickles, lemonade. Acids weaken the enamel, thus making your teeth more susceptible to staining.
Your teeth will be sensitive after the teeth whitening treatment, hence avoid eating any food and drinks that are too hot or cold. You can also try using a toothpaste made for sensitive teeth.
Habits such as smoking and chewing tobacco can stain your teeth and are also injurious to health. Continuing these habits after you’ve whitened your teeth is likely to nullify the whole point of teeth whitening. Hence, it is advisable to stop smoking and chewing tobacco altogether.
Oral Health tips
Teeth discolouration is usually the result of improper oral hygiene practices. Therefore, after you’ve gotten a teeth whitening treatment, it is only reasonable that you begin maintaining healthy oral care routine to not just retain the effects of the teeth whitening treatment, but also for overall health.
Here are some basics:
It is recommended that you avoid foods that will hamper the whiteness of your teeth, however if you want to consume some of them due to their nutritional value, you can. But you need to make sure that you brush your teeth soon after eating them. By brushing after you eat any stain-causing foods, you will maximise your teeth whitening effects for a longer period.
A proper oral care routine includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day using a good fluoride toothpaste.
Flossing your teeth is as important as brushing them, Floss at least once a day using Oral-B’s Essential Mint Dental Floss. It manages to get around hard-to-reach areas where there is most plaque build-up. Its mint flavour will also leave you feeling refreshed.
By following these guidelines, we’re sure you will be able to enjoy your bright and white smile for a long time. Moreover, following a proper oral care routine will not just keep your teeth white, it will also aid your overall health.
How do I take care of my teeth after whitening?
After a teeth whitening treatment, it is important to avoid foods that can stain your teeth such as tea, coffee, berries, beetroot, coloured soda, etc. Following a proper oral care routine that includes brushing and flossing daily is a must too.
How long after teeth whitening can I eat?
It is recommended to wait for at least 48 – 72 hours before eating anything that is likely to stain your teeth. You can eat immediately too, but take precaution and avoid foods that will stain your teeth. After that, you can follow your usual diet and proper oral care like brushing immediately after eating any stain-causing foods.
What should you not do after teeth whitening?
After a teeth whitening treatment, you should not smoke or chew tobacco as both habits leave stains on teeth. Avoid too hot or cold foods as your teeth will be sensitive, as well as acidic foods and drinks such as pickles, lemonades and sodas.