Congratulations on taking the confident step towards a whiter brighter smile. After a professional teeth whitening procedure at Hamilton Dental Centre, you won’t be able to stop looking at your pearly whites in the mirror.
Whether you opted for a home teeth whitening kit, or an in-chair teeth whitening procedure, we want to help you to preserve the results of this gentle and effective procedure for as long as possible.
Here is a list of ways you can ensure you get longevity out of your teeth whitening:
Avoid eating coloured foods
The first 72 hours after teeth whitening are crucial. Your teeth are more prone to blemishes during this period.
You must therefore do all you can to protect them and therefore maintain the results of your teeth whitening for longer.
It is advisable to avoid eating foods that have deep colours during these periods. They can stain your teeth and result in discolouration that will undo your teeth whitening efforts.
Be sure to avoid foods such as berries, chocolate, beets and foods with food colouring. You should also avoid drinking wine, coffee, tea and other deeply coloured beverages.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of teeth staining or becoming discoloured. If you want to ensure that your teeth remain white and bright for longer, you will have to avoid smoking especially within the first 72 hours following the procedure.
It is often easier to make lifestyle changes when you feel confident and happy. With your newly whitened smile, it could be a great time to kick your smoking habit completely!
Eliminating the use of tobacco will not only prevent discolouration of your teeth, it will greatly improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Avoid eating acidic foods
The teeth whitening process can result in temporary tooth sensitivity.
The exact cause of this is not known, but the leading hypothesis has to do with the effects of peroxides on your enamel and dentin.
As the peroxide product bleaches away the stains on your teeth, it also causes slight demineralisation which makes your teeth more porous.
In turn, this exposes the dentinal tubules within your teeth. These tiny, microscopic channels lead from the surface of the tooth to the centre of the tooth, where they connect to the nerves of your tooth.
These dentinal tubules are what allow you to feel sensations on your teeth, and you can experience increased tooth sensitivity when they have become temporarily more exposed.
To give your teeth the optimum environment for remineralisation, you must avoid excessively acidic foods and beverages. For example, citrus fruit, fizzy soft drinks, and lollies are highly acidic and should be avoided until your tooth sensitivity resolves.
Avoid cold or hot foods and beverages
The symptoms of tooth sensitivity can also be exacerbated by extremes of temperature.
Foods and beverages that are too cold or hot can cause increased discomfort, especially in the first 48 hours following the teeth whitening procedure.
We would recommend avoiding extremely hot or cold foods until your symptoms of sensitivity subside.
Invest in toothpaste for sensitive teeth
Investing in toothpaste that is designed for use on sensitive teeth will help to reduce discomfort following teeth whitening.
Sensitive toothpastes contain potassium nitrate, which works to soothe the nerves inside your teeth when they come into contact with painful triggers.
They also contain stannous fluoride, an anti-bacterial agent which builds a protective layer over the exposed dentin to create a barrier from painful triggers.
Using a sensitive toothpaste is proven to relieve and protect against tooth sensitivity pain when you use it to brush twice a day, every day.
Avoid sugary foods
Refined sugars can lead to decay, erosion, and discolouration, especially when your teeth are sensitive after whitening. Be sure to avoid chocolate and artificially coloured lollies right after your procedure.
Eat foods that are good for your teeth
After reading what foods and beverages you should avoid, you may be wondering, “What can I eat after a tooth whitening?”
Great question! The following foods are least likely to re-stain your teeth during the time that you are using your at home teeth whitening kit, and for a duration of 72 hours after any tooth whitening procedure.
- Chicken/Turkey – healthy, light coloured, and acid-free. Chicken or turkey is a great meat to eat in general and especially after treatment.
- Fish – especially fish with white flesh, such as snapper.
- Rice – a perfect accompaniment for the foods above.
- Pasta – plain pasta, without the addition of brightly coloured tomato or herb based sauces.
- White Cheese
- White Onion
- Eggs – why not make a yummy cheese and onion omelette?
- Potatoes – butter is fine too, so how about some yummy mash with your chicken?
- Bananas – these are a great snack and pose little risk to the colour of your teeth.
- Oats – try overnight oats with milk and banana for a yummy breakfast.
- A selection of fruit and veggies with low pigmentation – pears, apples, cauliflower, mushrooms.
Keep sugar-free gum handy
Chewing sugar-free gum helps to reduce tooth sensitivity. This is because chewing gum activates the production of saliva. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate, important compounds in the remineralisation of teeth
This particular study confirms that the use of a sugar-free chewing gum can reduce the intensity of tooth sensitivity associated with in-office whitening procedures.
With the above tips, we hope that you will get the most out of your investment of teeth whitening, by lengthening the time between treatments.
If you are just researching teeth whitening at this stage, and would like to learn more about the different teeth whitening options out there, check out our blog on the subject.