So you've taken the plunge and whitened your teeth, but now you're wondering how to protect your investment.
Dental whitening treatments are an easy and low cost way to update and improve your appearance. Of course, your teeth will look great in the beginning, but how do you preserve that gleaming smile? Although it’s not meant to be permanent, professional teeth whitening can last up to a year with the proper care and maintenance. It's important to know the steps in keeping your smile bright after the initial bleaching session.
Ask Your Dentist
If you had an in-office whitening procedure at your area dentist, you should have received instructions on how to maintain your smile. Most dental professionals agree that at-home whitening techniques can be effective, but consult with your dentist beforehand. Your teeth should be checked to make sure the enamel is strong enough to tolerate the bleaching chemicals. And, as always, staying regular with your checkups is essential.
Stay Away From Stains
The foods and chemicals that discolored your teeth before your bleaching session will likely do it again. Consider cutting back or giving up coffee, tea, soda, red wine and tobacco products to maximize the effects of your whitening treatment, and remember to always brush and rinse after meals.
Don't Overdo It
How white is too white? It might seem smart to whiten your teeth more often than recommended and take advantage of every product on the market, but it can have the opposite effect. Too many chemicals on your teeth can damage the enamel, resulting in sensitivity, blotching or a dull look from the naturally shiny enamel being stripped away.
It is important to remember that not all teeth will respond well to bleaching treatments. In these cases, veneers may be a more appropriate and longlasting choice. Discussing the various options with your dentist will help you make the best decision and restore your smile.