Having your teeth professionally whitened is a fantastic way to not only brighten your smile but also boost your confidence and your mood. While the process of having your teeth whitened is fairly easy, you’re going to want to make sure you practice teeth-whitening aftercare to ensure your new smile looks its best for a long time to come.
Your dentist may provide you with specific care instructions based on your unique dental needs, but there are several simple steps you can take to protect and possibly even enhance your smile after having your teeth whitened.
1. Avoid Foods That Stain
One of the biggest reasons people seek out teeth whitening in the first place is because of food and beverage stains that have discolored their teeth. Over time, foods and beverages like coffee, red wine and soy sauce can lead to stains on your teeth, and this becomes an even bigger deal after having your teeth whitened.
Most people are encouraged to completely avoid these types of foods and beverages for at least the first 48 hours after having whitening performed. Your dentist may recommend a longer period or may provide you with specific foods and drinks to stay away from.
2. Use At-Home Solutions
After you’ve left your dentist’s office, you can practice teeth-whitening aftercare at home using products designed to support and maintain a white smile. Products like the Glow on the Go blue light device are easy to use and convenient for people with busy lives.
With regular use, at-home teeth-whitening solutions can help you maintain whiter teeth for longer. They may even be able to help you stretch the time needed between professional teeth-whitening appointments, potentially saving you money in the process.
3. Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Practicing good dental hygiene is also a crucial component in maintaining great results after having your teeth whitened. Brushing and flossing are key components to dental health, and who knows — you may even decide to treat yourself to some luxury toothpaste or teeth-whitening gel to celebrate your new whiter smile.
Of course, you also want to make sure your toothbrush and other dental appliances are in good working order, especially if you use an electric toothbrush. If needed, consider replacement toothbrush heads to ensure you’re getting the best clean and, if your floss is running low, now is the time to stock up.
4. Be Careful With Acidic Foods and Beverages
In addition to avoiding foods that stain, you’ll also want to be careful with acidic foods. Foods and drinks that contain citrus are notorious for causing damage to newly whitened teeth, and your teeth are in a particularly vulnerable state in the first few days after a whitening procedure.
If you’re concerned about specific foods that may have a high acidic content, discuss your diet with your dentist. They will be able to let you know whether something is safe to eat or drink following teeth whitening.
5. Stick to Your Dentist’s Follow-Up Schedule
Finally, make sure you stick to your dentist’s follow-up schedule. The purpose of follow-up visits is not only to ensure your satisfaction with the whitening process but to also provide you with opportunities to discuss concerns or ask questions about caring for your new whiter smile.
During your follow-up visits, let your dentist know if you’ve experienced any kind of pain or sensitivity. While some sensitivity is normal following teeth whitening, it’s not normal to be unable to eat or drink. If your teeth are causing trouble, your dentist can address your concerns and create an action plan to resolve them.
Follow-up visits can also be used to learn about ways to improve your new smile. For example, if you wear lipstick, lip gloss or other types of lip coloring, your dentist may be able to recommend the best colors for your particular teeth. In most cases, darker colors should be avoided as they can make even the whitest teeth appear yellow. Instead, consider using red lipstick with blue undertones to enhance the contrast of your smile.
Enjoy Your New Whiter Smile
At the end of the day, the reason it’s important to practice teeth whitening aftercare is so that you can share your joy with others. With your whiter teeth, you’re sure to be flashing your smile at people more often, so it pays to keep your teeth looking their best.
Make sure to communicate clearly with your dentist for the best results. Also, consider looking into solutions to find the best teeth whitening products or stain erasers for at-home use to keep your smile looking its best.