By 2021, the global teeth whitening market is set to be worth US$3.78 billion, and with good reason.
Professional whitening is one of the many cosmetic dentistry services available that offer a range of aesthetic benefits for your teeth. And, unlike dental implants, braces or other procedures, the results can be almost instant.
In fact, if you opt for an in-office whitening treatment, you’ll walk out of your dentist’s office ready to dazzle the world with your brighter, whiter smile!
But once you’ve had your teeth whitened, you’ll want them to stay that way for as long as possible. Read on to learn how to keep your teeth white after professional teeth whitening.
Use a Specialized At-Home Teeth Whitening Kit
Opting for an in-office whitening treatment is the fastest way to get results. When you first have your teeth bleached, you’ll notice the difference in an instant and be amazed by your whiter smile.
But this whiteness tends to fade over the first few days. To minimize this regression, the best teeth whitening practice is to combine an in-office treatment with an at-home teeth whitening kit from your dentist.
Unlike the kinds of kits you can buy at the store, this will include specialized trays made from a precise mold of your teeth. As a result, your teeth will experience more contact time with the active ingredients, helping to further eliminate stains and discoloration.
If you opt for a combined whitening treatment, your dentist will show you how to whiten teeth at home using the kit. They’ll also advise you how long to continue the home treatment for optimum results and are likely to schedule follow-up appointments for monitoring.
Steer Clear of Stains
After your professional whitening session, and especially if you are continuing with at-home whitening, make sure to avoid anything that can stain your teeth.
The obvious culprits are tea, coffee and wine, and you should also quit smoking if you haven’t given up yet. Smoking is the worst offender for stained teeth so continuing to smoke will drastically reduce the amount of time that your pearly whites stay that way.
Aim to avoid these staining substances for at least two weeks (but preferably longer) after your last whitening treatment. Other foods to avoid include berries, dark sodas, chocolate and sauces like ketchup.
If you find it difficult to give up your morning coffee or want to enjoy a glass of red with dinner, consider using a straw. Although it will look a bit odd, sipping through a straw does keep these staining agents away from your bright white smile.
Get an Electric Toothbrush
Brushing your teeth twice a day is essential for keeping your whiter smile gleaming. And the best tool for the job is an electric toothbrush.
An electric toothbrush is more effective at removing food particles, plaque and stains. This is because the bristles move faster than you can achieve with a manual brushing motion, meaning they can get in between teeth better and polish to a higher degree.
And, electric toothbrushes don’t just help to remove surface stains. Because of the way they vibrate, rotate and break up bacteria, electric toothbrushes provide deeper cleaning and help to prevent intrinsic discoloration too. This is the internal kind of staining that comes as the result of decay or a dead nerve, discoloring the tooth from within.
Floss Every Day
Many people consider flossing an afterthought. But even the best electric toothbrushes can’t reach all the tiny particles of food that get caught between your teeth.
And, as well as removing any stray food particles, flossing does around 40 percent of the work needed to remove invisible plaque from your teeth. When you don’t floss, this plaque has ample opportunity to form cavities, irritate the gums and cause discoloration from within.
Make a habit of flossing at least once a day. Regular flossing will help to remove the particles and plaque that can build up over time, stopping them from causing serious damage to your teeth. And, by improving your dental health you’ll help to prolong the results of your teeth whitening treatment as a result.
Rinse Your Mouth After Eating
To keep your newly whitened teeth shining bright, you might be tempted to brush them after every meal. But over-brushing can damage your tooth enamel and increase the possibility of further staining over time.
Instead, you should rinse your mouth out with water after you’ve finished eating or drinking. All foods and drinks try their hardest to cling onto the surfaces of your teeth. And the sugars and acids in some foods nourish from the bacteria that gets left behind, leading to decay and discoloration.
A quick rinse of water will help to dislodge any debris, washing over your teeth in a natural way to help your teeth stay cleaner and brighter for longer.
Go for Regular Dental Check Ups
Don’t think you can just head to the dentist for your whitening treatment and then disappear into the sunset forever.
Maintaining regular dental cleaning check-ups every six months will make all the difference to how long your new whiter teeth remain as gleaming as can be. Regular professional-level cleaning and polishing will help remove surface stains and prevent discoloration from taking hold.
Also, your dentist will be able to check on how your teeth have responded to the whitening treatment in the long term. As a result, they may have new observations or recommendations that will help you maintain your confident new smile for longer.
Drink Plenty of Water
As well as rinsing with water after eating, you should make a point of drinking more water throughout the day.
Not only does water help to clean your teeth by washing away bacteria, drinking more water means drinking less of other drinks, such as soda, juice and sports drinks. All of which leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth while also wearing down your enamel with the acids they contain.
Also, drinking plenty of water helps encourage saliva production and stop dry mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s defense against tooth decay as it washes away leftover food and keeps your teeth strong by coating them with calcium, phosphate and fluoride.
Dry mouth, on the other hand, puts you at risk for tooth decay so drinking lots of water will help to keep this at bay.
Choose Crunchy Snacks
You know what foods to avoid to maintain your whiter smile for longer. But what foods should you be eating to promote whiter teeth?
Crunchy fruit and vegetables are a great place to start. Think apples, pears, celery, peppers, cucumber and carrots. Snacking on these crunchy fruits and vegetables is like brushing your teeth while you’re eating. That’s because they help to scrub the surfaces of your teeth, removing stains in the process.
And, chewing on these foods also helps to remove other food particles. This stops plaque from building up and stimulates blood flow to the mouth and gum area. Not to mention, these foods are full of nutrients to promote better health from within, meaning a stronger, healthier you from your teeth to your toes.
Eat Enamel-Boosting Dairy Products
Another food group that’s good for your teeth is dairy products.
First of all, as foods like milk, cheese and yogurt are generally white or light-colored, they don’t have any potential to cause staining or discoloration.
But, that’s not the most important reason to make dairy part of your post-teeth-whitening diet. Dairy products contain calcium and phosphates, which are crucial for building strong teeth and bones. These minerals strengthen your teeth by fortifying your tooth enamel, undoing the damage that harmful acids and sugars from other foods may have done.
Dairy products are also high in proteins which help to strengthen and protect your tooth enamel, making it more resistant to future staining.
Maintain Whiter Teeth After Professional Teeth Whitening
Whiter teeth are often perceived as being healthier. Although that’s not always the case, maintaining good oral health is the best way to ensure your teeth stay white after professional teeth whitening.
Of course, this boost in daily care is great news for your teeth and gums, meaning your teeth won’t just look healthier, they’ll also be healthier too.
And healthy habits, from your brushing and flossing routine down to what you eat and drink, will also ensure that your smile stays brighter and whiter for longer.