Teeth Whitening: Do’s and Don’ts

girl getting professional teeth whitening done

Teeth can discolor for a variety of reasons, and most people desire the white, bright smile that is typical of many Hollywood celebrities. Teeth whitening can correct discoloration and remove stains and yellowing in order to return teeth to their natural, bright shade. An important step in whitening teeth is learning whitening dos and don’ts, in order to ensure you receive the most effective results.

In this article we’ll be discussing the guidelines you should follow to get a bright smile that lasts for years to come.

Do Your Homework

Doing your homework before starting a teeth whitening regimen is important, in order to identify the cause of discoloration. Different discolorations require different methods to correct them. Ask yourself the following questions:

Has the color of my teeth changed recently, or after a significant event? Be sure that your teeth aren’t discolored from a recent illness, or from a recent bleaching treatment you’ve had done professionally.

  • If so, has the change been sudden and unexpected? Sudden and dramatic color changes to teeth can be a result of a disease or illness, so you should consult a dentist to ensure nothing serious is going on.
  • Is the color change to my teeth gradual and expected? If so, continue to the next question.

Is the change to my teeth gradual and expected? If so, then you can likely bring back their natural color, and you should keep reading to learn other tips and tricks for whitening.

Prepare Your Teeth

Before whitening, you must first prepare your teeth. This means removing any plaque or buildup, along with any stains on your teeth, in order to allow the whitening materials to effectively penetrate the tooth structure. You can find whitening toothpastes or mouthwashes at your dental office, or you can make your own scrub at home by mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Apply the mixture to your teeth using a soft toothbrush, and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.

Start Slow

You should whiten your teeth gradually, starting with the least abrasive method of whitening. Whitening strips are effective, but can be abrasive to your teeth. This means you should start with over-the-counter whiteners, and slowly increase their strength until you achieve the desired results. Whiteners with hydrogen peroxide are the least abrasive, and will whiten your teeth with minimal wear and tear.

Buy A Good Whitening Kit

woman putting on a teeth whitening strip

When buying over-the-counter whiteners, which you can get from your local pharmacy, it’s important to buy a good kit. Always buy a kit that specifies that it contains hydrogen peroxide, and that it can be used gradually.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

Keeping your teeth clean is important. Make sure you brush twice a day, and avoid brushing too hard, which can wear away at the enamel of your teeth. If you must floss, make sure to only use waxed floss, and not to floss too hard. If you’re unsure how to go about brushing and flossing, ask your dentist for tips.

  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss with waxed floss and don’t floss too hard
  • Don’t forget to visit your dentist for a professional cleaning and check-up at least once a year.

Limit Your Intake Of Staining Sugars And Foods

You should limit your intake of staining sugars and foods to ensure you achieve long-lasting results from your whitening treatments. Foods and drinks with a high concentration of sugar, such as soda, candy, and pastries, can cause your teeth to re-discolor after you finish your whitening treatments. Be sure to limit your consumption of these foods for the first few weeks after your whitening treatment, so you can enjoy their bright, new smile for as long as possible.

Limit your consumption of staining sugars and foods

Six months to a year after your whitening treatment, you might choose to go back in to your dentist for a touch-up treatment. This can make sure your teeth don’t discolor, and can return them back to their original whiteness!

How to Get Professional Whitening From Your Dentist

You can get professional whitening from your dentist. This is an in-office treatment that can bring your smile back to its original brightness, and it doesn’t take long at all. The treatment takes less than an hour, and is pain-free. Be sure to follow these steps after your in-office treatment:

  • You’ll be given instructions not to eat or drink anything for two hours before your in-office treatment.
  • After the teeth whitening treatment, you’ll be given a custom-fit whitening trays to wear for several nights after the treatment.
  • You should avoid drinking liquids for 1 to 2 hours after your treatment, and avoid eating anything sticky for several hours after your treatment.

Side Effect Prevention – Side Effects Are Rare

Side effects of teeth whitening aren’t common, but can occur in a few cases. Some people experience a temporary sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks after whitening, which usually goes away after a few weeks. If after a few weeks your sensitivity persists, or gets worse, you should consult a dentist.

  • If your teeth become sensitive after a teeth whitening treatment, you should avoid hot and cold foods and drinks for a few days so as to not aggravate the sensitivity.
  • If your sensitivity persists or gets worse after a few weeks, consult a dentist.

How to Keep Lasting Results – Keep Them For Years To Come!

If you’re serious about keeping lasting results from your teeth whitening, you’re going to have to be a bit more diligent. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Brush your teeth twice per day
  • Limit your intake of staining sugars and foods
  • Get regular professional checkups and cleanings from your dentist

Teeth whitening doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Be sure to follow the tips discussed in this article, and you’ll be on the right path toward pearly whites that are brighter than ever.