A whitening treatment helps dissolve dental stains that may be trapped inside the pores of the teeth. Each day, the teeth absorb pigments from ingested beverages and foods. As time progresses, the pigments build up and cause dental discoloration.
Most whitening treatments include peroxide-based bleaching agents. Multiple applications are often needed to whiten the teeth.
If an over-the-counter treatment is used, the instructions included with the kit should indicate the duration and suggested frequency of the product's usage. During a professional teeth whitening application, the product is applied by a trained dental professional.
Once a whitening treatment has been completed and the desired level of whiteness has been attained, the teeth can become discolored again if proper precautions are not taken. Here are a few measures you can take after having your teeth whitened to avoid re-staining them.
Limit the Ingestion of Dark Substances
Since most removable dental stains come from the foods and drinks that you consume, you can avoid discoloration by limiting the dark substances that enter your mouth. Items, such as coffee, tea and blackberries, can be particularly staining.
When you do consume dark foods or drinks, rinse your mouth immediately afterwards to dilute any leftover colorants. The rinsing can also dislodge pigments that have not thoroughly settled into the dental pores.
Brush With Toothpaste That Contains Whiteners
Some types of toothpaste include whitening agents, such as baking soda and peroxide. Although the toothpaste is not likely to whiten the teeth multiple shades, it can help remove recent stains.
Baking soda has mild abrasive qualities that polish away stains. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent.
Chew Sugarless Gum After You Eat
Gum can pull dark-colored bits of food and debris from your teeth. In addition, as you chew the gum, saliva is released to dilute food-based pigments and rinse them away.
Some gum even contains whiteners, such as titanium dioxide or malic acid. Titanium dioxide is a gentle polisher, and malic acid helps loosen dental stains for easier removal.
For the best results, chew the gum just after eating or drinking. The stains will have had little time to settle into the tooth enamel.
Use Home Kits From the Dentist
Some dentists provide a home maintenance kit after a series of in-office whitening applications.The kit typically contains a significantly lower concentration of bleaching ingredients than those used in in-office whitening sessions.
To learn more about maintaining the whiteness of your teeth after a teeth-whitening treatment, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.