Wanting a brighter smile and teeth-whitening treatments go hand-in-hand. With just a few professionally-done treatments, your teeth can be as much as 2 to 5 shades lighter. However, like with all things cosmetics, over time the effects of the treatment can wear off.
This goes double if you don’t know how to properly take care of them. There are certain habits that you should avoid if you don’t want staining to occur after the treatment. Here are a few ways to keep your teeth bright after professional whitening.
If you want to ensure that your whitening treatment lasts for a long time then you need to avoid eating or drinking anything that stains. Specifically, you should avoid food and drinks that contain tannins. This is a type of polyphenol that has the ability to break down in water. According to research, tannins can be found in beverages such as coffee, tea, and wine.
What makes tannins such a problem is that it causes colour compounds to stick to the teeth. And with time, they develop a yellow hue. So the next time you reach for a cup of coffee, a piece of dark chocolate or even a handful of berries consider something that will go a little easier on your teeth.
If you find the idea of not being able to have your morning cup of coffee too much to bear, then you could always try drinking your favourite beverage out of a straw. Drinking hot beverages from a straw may take a little getting used to but it can help to preserve the results of your whitening treatment as well as also protect your teeth from the sugar that tends to break down your tooth enamel.
The key is to make sure that the straw is positioned correctly. When drinking, hold the straw directly behind your front teeth. Also, refrain from swishing the drink around in your mouth before swallowing.
Admittedly, your molars will likely still be stained, but your most visible teeth will be exposed to less acidity. Not only will the whitening last longer, but according to professors at Temple University, you’ll experience fewer cavities.
If you’re searching for another reason to quit smoking then look no further. Another great way to ensure that your teeth remain bright after your whitening treatment is to refrain from smoking.
You see, the nicotine and tar found in tobacco can cause substances to bind to the outer lining of your tooth enamel. And this can cause yellow and brown stains. These changes don’t take very long to develop–typically only a matter of months.
While there are foods that cause staining there are those that can actually help you to preserve your bright smile. This is especially when it comes to foods that produce saliva. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association saliva is your teeth’ best defence against decay.
Why is this? Well, saliva contains things like calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. And each of these elements can neutralize acids. So eat foods that are known for their saliva-producing properties.
This includes foods like parsley, celery, rosemary, cayenne pepper, apples and aniseed. Cheese is also good for saliva production. Try to put much of your focus on foods that crunch. Most importantly, you need to make sure you drink a lot of water.
Whenever you eat a snack or meal that contains sugar it produces acids that attack the enamel. Eventually, the acid breaks down the enamel and causes plaque. When the plaque isn’t removed it hardens into tartar. And research shows that tartar is porous so it can be easily stained by food and drink.
Tartar deposits usually settle between and behind the teeth and appear to be brown or yellow. The best way to avoid a tartar build-up is to brush after every meal.
This ensures that your enamel remains plaque-free. Take a travel kit everywhere you go. Also, use mouthwash so that bacteria can be washed away.
Even if you’re taking great care of your teeth it’s still very important that you see your dentist regularly. Not only can they check for issues that you may not even be aware of but they can also do a cleaning which will help to remove your most recent stains. This prevents unnecessary build-up. In most instances, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist twice a year.
One of the biggest reasons that people choose to have their teeth professionally whitened is because it’s easy to get the results they want. However, if you want these results to last for a long time, you must take the proper steps to protect your time and investment. And this requires a certain amount of dedication. You must be willing to avoid certain foods, eat others, find alternative ways to enjoy food and drinks, quit smoking, maintain good oral hygiene and go for regular checkups.