Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic treatment that can make a dramatic difference to the look of your smile. With proper care, the results of a whitening treatment can last for several years. Subsequent touch-up treatments can also help extend the results.
Keeping Your Teeth White after Whitening Treatment
If you’ve taken the time to have your teeth whitened, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them white in the long term. The first step to take is to avoid the staining agents that caused your teeth to become discolored in the first place. Most commonly, these include:
- Brightly colored fruits, vegetables, or juices
You can also help reduce staining by rinsing your mouth after your teeth are exposed to anything likely to cause staining. Regular brushing and flossing also helps keep your teeth white. Adding a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash to your everyday dental hygiene regimen is another step you can take to be sure your whitening treatment lasts as long as possible.
Your cosmetic dentist will probably recommend touchup treatments. These will be less intensive than the initial whitening treatment, and will help remove any staining that does happen to build up over time.
How Teeth Whitening Works
Professional teeth whitening as performed by a cosmetic dentist uses a strong bleaching agent to remove stains from the surfaces of your teeth. Your dentist will use special plastic appliances and a protective gel to prevent irritation to the soft tissues in your mouth. Whitener is painted onto your teeth. Depending upon the type of whitener being used, it might be activated with a special light. The whitener is left in place for about twenty minutes, then is removed and reapplied twice, for three twenty-minute sessions. Your teeth will look whiter right away, but over the next few days will continue to lighten as much as five to ten shades.
You might experience some sensitivity after your whitening treatment. This will probably disappear in time. If you’re concerned about it, use a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth, or talk to our dentist about treatment for sensitivity. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!