8 Post Teeth-Whitening Do’s and Don’ts
You’ve just had your teeth whitened by your dentist and you walked out of the clinic feeling like a new you! Having a brighter smile can do wonders to your self-confidence and we’re sure that you would like to keep it this way for as long as you can.
This is why teeth whitening aftercare is necessary. The aftercare period involves making wise decisions about your food choices as well as to incorporate some important habits that will help to prevent your teeth from staining. To preserve the colour of your teeth, there are some important steps to take especially during the first 48 hours following the teeth whitening procedure.
This period is crucial as the dentin layer (the layer underneath your teeth’s enamel) is temporarily exposed after the procedure. When the dentin layer is exposed, this increases the sensitivity of your teeth and makes it susceptible to blemishes. Therefore, you will need to be careful with everything that you put into your mouth to prevent staining your freshly whitened teeth.
Here are important tips to follow if you’ve just had your teeth whitened.
1. Don’t eat foods that stain
Chromogens, tannins and acids are factors that are responsible for staining your teeth and these factors are commonly found in coloured food. This is why deep coloured food, including naturally coloured ones should be avoided entirely for the first 48 hours after the procedure. Examples of deep-coloured food include curry, red meat, dark chocolate as well as sauces like chilli sauce and soy sauce.
Now, it may seem almost impossible to eat a plate of entirely white food. Don’t worry, this ‘White Diet’ is only for 6 main meals and the key to eating the right type of food is to enjoy anything white such as chicken, turkey meat, peeled potatoes, porridge, rice noodles, white bread and plain yoghurt.
2. Don’t have coloured drinks
Like coloured food, coloured drinks such as wine, coffee, tea and fruit juices should also be avoided. The safest option is to consume plain water during the 48 hours following the procedure. If you must enjoy a drink other than plain water, do opt for drinks that are completely white or clear in colour such as milk or coconut water. We understand that having to wait 48 hours to have a cup of Joe may seem extremely difficult but just remember that this is just a temporary sacrifice and most definitely one that is worth it.
3. Don’t use coloured dental products
Indeed, we literally mean everything that you put into your mouth should be white or colourless and that includes your dental products. Coloured dental products such as your toothpastes and mouthwash should be avoided for 48 hours following your teeth whitening procedure. If in doubt, do clarify with your dentist about the range of products that can be safely used.
5. Don’t eat acidic food
Avoiding acidic food should also be a part of your teeth whitening aftercare routine. Food and beverages like citrus fruits, soda and pickles to name a few, can further weaken your teeth enamel and as mentioned, it can increase tooth sensitivity as well as teeth staining.
6. Do rinse your mouth
After 48 hours following your teeth whitening procedure, you will be able to enjoy your favourite food (including deep-coloured ones) but this does not mean that your teeth are entirely protected against staining. The simple act of rinsing your mouth with water after a colourful meal can help to reduce the chances of staining your teeth
7. Do drink with a straw
Drinking with a straw is more of a long-term practice as an effort to prevent your teeth from staining due to drinks such as coffee or soda. Using a straw equates to your teeth having less exposure to the beverage and ultimately, this reduces the risk of teeth staining. Carrying a reusable straw with you can help you to keep up with this practice, no matter where you’re enjoying your beverage.
8. Do avoid smoking
Smoking is one habit that will quickly stain your teeth. Just one puff will immediately introduce a yellowish tint to your pearly whites. If you would like to maintain white teeth, smoking should not only be avoided as part of your teeth whitening aftercare routine but also in the long run. Instead, try using nicotine patches and other products to help you fight the smoking habit.
These steps will help you to retain the colour of your teeth for as long as possible but that’s not all. A routine visit your dentist and scheduling a teeth whitening session every 1 to 2 years will give you a set of teeth that are not only white but healthy too. Our team at Westmead Smile Centre is always ready to address any questions you might have about teeth whitening. This includes helping you to understand your teeth whitening options as well as to guide you with your teeth whitening aftercare routine.