How can I safely whiten my teeth?
At Valley Dental, we get many questions from patients about how they can whiten their teeth safely and effectively. While teeth whitening treatments can help us to feel more self-confident with a whiter, brighter smile, not every option out there is safe. In this post, our dentists recommend ways to get the job done safely — and offer some advice on how to keep a sparkling white smile.
Ask Your Dentist for the Best Teeth Whitening Options
Our teeth gradually lose their natural whiteness as we age for a variety of reasons. Your dentist can perform a tooth colour analysis and recommend options for safely whitening your smile based on the current shade of your teeth, the cause of their discoloration, and your specific needs. Keep in mind that older restorations may still be wearing their original paint job.
Our dentists provide at-home teeth whitening services. Usually, you'll have to come in for two appointments. In order to make a personalized whitening tray for you, impressions of your teeth will be taken during your initial appointment. You will receive your tray, whitening gel, and application instructions at your second appointment.
Following the filling of each tray with whitening gel, you will wear the trays in your mouth for one to two hours each day. Most bleaching methods produce results in 10 to 14 days. You might see a change in the colour of your teeth in as little as four to six weeks.
Work with Your Dentist to Avoid Adverse Side Effects
It is critical to consult with your dentist before, during, and after teeth whitening to reduce the risk of side effects. The most commonly reported side effects of teeth whitening are tooth and gum sensitivity. These side effects are usually temporary and go away after teeth whitening. Consult a dentist if the sensitivity or irritation persists.
Avoid Dark-Coloured or Acidic Foods and Drinks
You just spent money to have your teeth whitened. The good news is that you can take steps to preserve your lovely smile. Coffee and soda drinkers should avoid drinking their favourite beverages right after whitening their teeth. Red wine, tomato juice, sports drinks, and tea can all make your new colour appear dull.
Additionally, since it takes time for saliva to form a natural protective coating around tooth surfaces, avoid highly acidic or brightly coloured foods like strawberries, oranges, chocolate, and ketchup after your teeth whitening procedure.
Use Teeth Whitening Toothpaste and Mouthwashes to Keep Your Smile Bright
Nonprescription toothpaste and mouthwash will help keep your newly whitened teeth looking their best. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day as part of your daily maintenance routine to remove stains.
Touch Up Your Smile Periodically
Depending on your oral hygiene routine and daily smile care, teeth whitening should last two to three years. Discoloration can build up over time, but it should never be restored to its original state.
If you notice your teeth starting to darken again, our dentists recommend touch-ups — ask your dentist at your regular hygiene appointment for personalized advice.