Having your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist is an intensive cosmetic procedure that can make your teeth look whiter and cleaner. This isn't permanent, and your teeth can still be stained, but with proper care you can help your teeth stay white and reduce the sensitivity that comes with whitening treatment.
The first few days after you get your teeth whitened are when it's most important to take care of them because they are the most susceptible to staining by both foods and drinks. Stay away from any dark substances for about 48 hours after the treatment. Fruits like bananas are fine, but also try to avoid acidic citrus that can increase your teeth's sensitivity. Stick to drinking only water if at all possible.
Dealing with Sensitivity
Your teeth will be much more sensitive to heat and cold after whitening, because the whitening process makes use of abrasive chemicals that weaken your enamel temporarily. You can take painkillers to help fend off the pain and also stick to room-temperature foods, but you can also use anti-sensitivity toothpaste. Most of the sensitivity should be gone after the first few days, but using this toothpaste can help prevent sensitivity in the long term. Use a soft-bristle brush in place of a hard-bristle brush, and brush gently so you go easy on your enamel.
Inevitably, your teeth will slowly start to return to their old natural color. You can slow this process by taking good care of your teeth, but nothing short of whitening your teeth again will help them stay that white. The good news is that instead of having your teeth professional whitened every time, you can use white strips once or twice a month to keep them at the same tint. Note that you may feel the same sensitivity and susceptibility to staining with over-the-counter products as well.
Apart from avoiding darker foods, drinks and sauces, you should also stay away from foods high in acidic content or sugar, as this can wear away at your enamel more quickly than other foods. Try to work in foods that are higher in calcium and phosphorous that are good for your teeth.
If you drink or smoke frequently, this can contribute to rapid staining of your teeth, so if you've ever been thinking about quitting or cutting back, now is the time. If you notice that you grind your teeth, look into getting a mouth guard to protect your teeth at night.
When it comes to maximizing results, good dental hygiene is the most reliable method. Wait until an hour after eating to brush and floss so your enamel has time to strengthen itself after coming into contact with food. If flossing with string hurts, look into waxed floss or a water or air flosser. Regularity is also key; a thorough cleaning doesn't mean much if you only do it a few times a week.
For more information, talk to a professional like Belgrade Dental Associates.