What You Need To Know About In-Office Whitening
After your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for teeth whitening, there are a few things you can start doing before your appointment to ensure that you receive the best results. Practice good daily oral hygiene, continue flossing daily and switch to an anti-sensitivity toothpaste. Not all patients experience sensitivity from teeth whitening, but switching to anti-sensitivity toothpaste two weeks before the whitening appointment can help decrease your discomfort.
In-office whitening results vary for each patient depending on the severity of the stains, lifestyle and habits of the individual, the layer of the tooth the stains are in, the number of treatments a patient undergoes and the patient’s at-home care following the treatment.
Certain habits can increase your risk for discoloration, as well as the severity of dental stains. To protect your white smile, you should avoid the following: smoking, routine consumption of black tea, soda, coffee, and red wine, frequent consumption of berries, tomato sauce, soy sauce, and other highly pigmented foods, and frequent consumption of citrus, fruit juices, and other acidic food and drink. During the 24-48 hours following whitening, teeth can be more absorbent to the pigments in foods and beverages, so those should be avoided entirely. Regular habits you can incorporate to decrease staining are to use a straw when drinking darker liquids, always brushing your teeth after eating or drinking, and if you are unable to do so, swishing water after eating/drinking can help.
As far as extending the results of your in-office whitening treatment, you can also perform periodic maintenance at-home with whitening gel and custom trays. (At our office, you get custom trays and one syringe of whitening gel as part of the Zoom in-office whitening appointment!). The most important thing you can do to protect your smile is to also maintain good dental habits. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. You should also floss and use antibacterial mouthwash daily. Of course, be sure to schedule your biannual exams and cleanings (or whatever your dentist/hygienist recommended for you!).
Give us a call if you’re interested in whitening! We’re happy to help.
-Dr. Melody Salehi, DDS