How To Make Teeth Whitening Last As Long As Possible

Posted on: 13 November 2017

Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments out there. It's non-invasive, more affordable than other procedures, and has great results. One downside, however, is that it doesn't last forever. So to make sure that your whitening lasts as long as possible before you need the next touch-up, consider the following tips.

Opt for Professional Whitening Rather Than OTC Products

While over-the-counter whitening products are reasonably priced, they don't last nearly as long as professional whitening ones. Because these products don't last as long, there is the temptation to over-bleach, which can be dangerous for both your gums and teeth. If teeth are over-bleached, then the enamel surface can actually wear away, showing yellow dentin underneath. In short, it's better to get professional whitening by a cosmetic dentist, since he or she will use a safe amount of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide gel that will give you the best, long-lasting effect.

Choose the Right Foods and Beverages

Drinks like black tea, coffee, and cranberry juice are notorious for staining teeth, so you may want to cut back a little. While acidic drinks like soda don't necessarily stain, they can cause plaque to form, making your teeth look discolored and setting you up for decay. Sweet treats, certain berries (e.g. blackberries), and acidic foods like citrus can all cause stains.

To help your teeth stay white, incorporate more greens into your diet. For instance, broccoli has high levels of iron, which can protect your teeth from bacteria, acid erosion, and discoloration. Dairy products are also great for whiter teeth, since they contain good levels of calcium. Lactic acids in cheese also protect your teeth from staining and decay.

Lastly, consider adding fruits like apples and veggies like carrots. Because these foods have good fiber content and are crunchy, they help create a lot of saliva in the mouth, which is the body's natural teeth-cleaning agent. Bright fruits also contain malic acid, which is a natural whitener.

Just keep in mind that even though certain fruits can whiten teeth, you do need to keep up with brushing since they also contain fructose, which can break down enamel.

Consider Changing Certain Medications or Lifestyle Habits

If you are using certain medications, like tetracycline for acne, keep in mind that one of the side effects is tooth discoloration. If you are uncertain whether or not certain medications can affect your teeth, talk with your doctor or cosmetic dentist. He or she may be able to prescribe an alternative drug with fewer side effects.

Along with your medications, take a look at your lifestyle habits. For example, people who smoke will often have stained teeth. People who chew on hard objects, like ice or pens, can break up the enamel, making it more prone to plaque and discoloration. If you want to maintain a whiter smile for longer, try to curb these habits.

For more information on whitening or other cosmetic dentistry treatments, talk with a local dentist.