Congratulations on your new bright smile! You have invested time and money into achieving pearly whites with teeth whitening in Walnut Creek. However, this cosmetic procedure isn’t permanent, and you must adopt some practices for lasting results. Get tips on how to keep your teeth white for longer after treatment.
What Is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic procedure dentists perform to remove surface stains and discoloration from your teeth. Teeth whitening uses a gel with hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, and these whitening agents penetrate the enamel and oxidize the yellow spots and irregularities.
As a result, your natural teeth have an even finish and a bright white color.
Types of Teeth Whitening
There are three main types of teeth whitening: in-office whitening, at-home whitening kits, and over-the-counter whitening products.
In-office whitening involves a professional dentist or dental hygienist applying a high concentration of whitening gel to your teeth and using a special light to activate the gel. This method typically produces the quickest and most effective results.
At-home whitening kits consist of custom-fitted trays filled with a lower concentration of whitening gel, and dentists usually design and sell them in the office. Depending on the kit’s instructions, you need to wear these trays for a specified amount each day or overnight to get effective results.
Finally, over-the-counter whitening products include whitening strips, gels, and toothpaste. These products have a lower concentration of whitening agents than professional methods and may take longer to see results.
Can All Teeth Be Whitened?
Extrinsic stains are those that appear on the outer layer of the tooth, known as enamel. They are typically caused by consuming foods and drinks that have strong pigments, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. Habits like smoking and poor oral hygiene can also lead to extrinsic staining. In-office and at-home treatments can help lift surface stains and brighten teeth.
On the other hand, intrinsic stains occur within the tooth, below the enamel layer. These types of stains result from genetics, medication, and trauma. Teeth with intrinsic staining may require alternative or additional treatments, such as veneers or bonding, to achieve the desired results. These treatments involve applying a thin layer of composite or porcelain material to the tooth’s surface, effectively covering the discoloration.
Teeth that are naturally yellow or brown may also require different treatment methods. For instance, surface stains from food or drink can be removed with regular teeth whitening, but intrinsic stains might need alternative procedures such as veneers or bonding.
Seeking advice from dental professionals is crucial to determine the best way to achieve a brighter, whiter smile.
How to Keep Your Teeth White for Longer
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene
One of the most effective ways to keep your teeth white for longer is to practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice daily, floss afterward, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to remove surface stains and prevent new ones from forming.
- Limit Staining Foods and Drinks
Certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries, can cause staining on your teeth. While eliminating these meals from your diet isn’t realistic, you can limit your consumption and rinse your mouth with water after having them to minimize staining.
You can also try snacking on healthy foods that fortify enamel and restore the balance in your mouth like leafy greens, yogurt, carrots, and apples.
- Quit Smoking
Smoking is not only detrimental to your overall health, but it also causes staining on teeth. Quitting this habit will boost the health of your smile and keep your smile white for longer. If leaving this habit behind isn’t an option, try limiting the number of cigarettes you smoke a day or brush your teeth afterward.
- Use a Straw
When drinking staining beverages, using a straw can help minimize contact with your teeth and reduce staining.
- Touch-Up Treatments
Regular touch-up treatments can help maintain your teeth whitening results. Whether using at-home whitening kits or scheduling touch-up appointments with your dentist, you need to stay on top of your whitening routine can keep your smile bright.
Make sure to talk to your dentist about how often you can repeat your teeth whitening treatment, as constantly exposing your teeth to whitening agents can cause permanent damage and sensitivity.
- Consider Your Toothbrush
Using a toothbrush with hard bristles can be too abrasive and wear down your tooth enamel over time. As a result, your teeth become more susceptible to staining, and you’ll need teeth whitening sooner than expected. Instead, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to effectively clean your teeth without damaging your enamel.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help prevent staining by increasing saliva production, which neutralizes acid and removes food particles from your teeth. Some sugar-free gums also contain ingredients like xylitol, which can help prevent tooth decay.
- Get Regular Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are crucial to maintaining a bright smile. A professional cleaning every six months can remove surface stains and buildup that cause discoloration. Your dental hygienist can give you personalized recommendations for maintaining your oral health and preventing future staining.
- Be Cautious with DIY Remedies
While there are many DIY remedies for teeth whitening, such as charcoal toothpaste or baking soda, these methods can be too abrasive and cause long-term damage to your teeth. Please consult a dental professional before trying any at-home whitening procedures to ensure they are safe and effective.
- Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Finally, whitening toothpaste can help maintain teeth-whitening results by removing surface stains and preventing new ones from forming. Look for a toothpaste that contains whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide and be sure to use it as directed. However, be careful about overusing whitening toothpaste, as it can cause tooth sensitivity and erode tooth layers.
Looking for Teeth Whitening in Walnut Creek?
Ready for a brighter smile? Visit Coliseum Dental WC for professional teeth whitening and other dental procedures. Our team is ready to provide top-quality services, answer questions, and provide advice on oral health. Schedule your appointment today!