Teeth whitening by a professional is the best way to go if you want beautiful, brighter, whiter teeth. The purpose of teeth whitening is to remove deep, hard-set stains from the teeth. How you care for your teeth after the procedure is as crucial as the treatment, though.
Professional teeth-whitening treatment gel is stronger than commercial products and lasts longer. Dentists use hydrogen or carbamide peroxide in the whitening gel to open the pores of your teeth and penetrate the layers beyond the enamel. Tooth stains break down and enter through those pores.
The whitening gel raises your tooth’s internal temperature, releasing its moisture and potentially leading to dehydration of the tooth. The teeth rehydrate themselves within a few days, but there are things you can do to improve the process.
Potential Side Effects
A primary side effect of a teeth-whitening treatment is tooth sensitivity. Under the tooth’s enamel is the dentin layer. The peroxide dentists use temporarily exposes the dentin layer, making it vulnerable to sensitivity and discoloration.
Another problem after teeth-whitening procedures is gum irritation. The peroxide the doctor uses can cause a burning sensation in the gums.
To relieve the discomfort, apply a cold or warm compress to the sore gums for a few minutes, and you can switch between the two. If your dentist approves, you can try a saltwater rinse to remove bacteria on the teeth and prevent future growth.
Teabags make effective pain control. Soak a tea bag in boiling water for about five minutes. Let it cool to warm, then apply it to the affected side. Chamomile and ginger tea have anti-inflammatory properties that may offer better pain control.
Short-Term Aftercare for Teeth Whitening
The first 48 hours after teeth whitening are crucial for protecting your white teeth. There are things you can do to ensure they stay that way.
Rehydrate Your Teeth
Help your teeth rehydrate. If teeth do not rehydrate, they can become sensitive and painful. Your saliva consists of minerals the teeth need to rejuvenate. Maintaining a moist clean mouth is your primary responsibility for rehydrating the teeth.
How do you produce saliva? Avoid certain activities after teeth whitening treatment that may cause dryness in the mouth, such as vigorous exercise.
For the first few days after teeth whitening, you do not want to eat or drink anything that will stain a white shirt. They often have dyes or colors that manufacturers added to enhance flavor. Avoid:
- Coffee and tea
- Dark sauces, including soy, tomato, cheese, or barbecue
- Condiments, such as mustard and ketchup
- Dark chocolate
- Sugary foods
- Acidic foods and juices, such as orange, lemon, grape, cranberry, tomato, and vinegar
- Strawberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, and blueberries
Refrain from sticky foods, such as candy and gum, due to their sugar contents. Your teeth are sensitive from the whitening procedure, and sugary foods can irritate them.
Keep a Clean Mouth
Use straws so that the beverage bypasses your teeth and goes directly to your throat. Brush your teeth and floss after meals. Use a whitening toothpaste that will reduce stains. Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash after eating to help loosen food particles.
Refrain from Tobacco
Use this as an opportunity to stop smoking. Tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars, vapor, and dip, can leave yellow stains on the teeth.
Eat These White Foods
You know what foods to avoid right after a teeth whitening treatment, but what can you eat? Focus on food that is non-abrasive and without much color. These foods are part of a White Diet:
- Skinless chicken and fish or tofu
- White rice and pasta with white sauces
- Egg whites only
- Milk and plain yogurt
- Potatoes without their peels
- White cheese
- Light-colored fruits, such as peeled apples, pears, and bananas
When avoiding dark sauces is not possible, eating raw green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and spinach will help to remove stains those dark foods may leave.
As always, drinking water is the best beverage because it contains no artificial ingredients or colors. It will help keep your teeth clean.
How to Maintain Your White Teeth
Two to three days after a teeth-whitening treatment, it is crucial to continue to take good care of your choppers. Take time to practice healthy habits, and it will become a natural part of your daily routine. Here are some measures that will help improve your oral health.
Rehydrate the Teeth
If teeth do not rehydrate, they can become sensitive and painful. Your saliva consists of minerals the teeth need to rejuvenate. Maintaining a moist clean mouth is your primary responsibility for rehydrating the teeth.
How do you produce saliva? Avoid certain activities after teeth whitening treatment that may cause dryness in the mouth, such as vigorous exercise. Your body will produce more saliva, but drinking water will help keep the mouth moist.
Brush and Floss Regularly
Always brush your teeth after eating something that stains. It is a good habit to brush and floss at least twice a day.
Limit Foods and Beverages that Stain
Limit foods or beverages that will stain your teeth, such as coffee, tea, juices, wine, or foods that contain dyes. If you need to drink a tooth-staining beverage, use a straw. Many foods can cause tartar to form on the surface of the teeth.
Chew sugarless gum only. The sugar in gum may form acids that break down tooth enamel, eventually leading to tooth decay. Foods with a higher acid content, such as grapefruit or orange juice, should be in moderation.
Avoid nicotine. Smoking, chewing tobacco, and vaping can cause yellowing of the teeth.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Most dentists recommend cleaning twice a year to maintain optimal oral health. Contact Las Cruces Dental Solutions today to schedule your first visit or teeth whitening treatment.