Professional teeth whitening performed by your dentist is a quick, safe and effective way to achieve a radiant smile in as few as one appointment. Unfortunately, whitened teeth can lose their appeal if they aren’t maintained properly after treatment. The following tips can help keep your teeth bright following a whitening procedure at your dentist’s office.

Avoid Tooth-Staining Foods and Drinks

Every time you eat or drink, that food or beverage comes into contact with your enamel and has the potential to stain your teeth. To avoid discoloration, avoid the following highly pigmented foods and drinks:

  • Coffee, tea and red wine
  • Dark sodas and juices
  • Dark sauces such as soy sauce, barbecue sauce and tomato sauce
  • Beets
  • Dark colored berries and fruits
  • Sugary and acidic foods

If avoiding these is not an option, then consider drinking your beverages from a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. Rinse with water or brush your teeth immediately after having foods that can cause staining.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke or use other tobacco products, you will quickly lose bright results from your whitening treatment. Smoking causes yellowing of the enamel. It also increases the risk for plaque and tartar build-up, which can lead to decay and gum disease. To protect your oral health and maintain a beautiful smile, it is important that you quit any tobacco habit as soon as possible.

Consider Touch-Up Treatments

Following your whitening treatment, ask your dentist what they recommend for maintaining your newly whitened smile. If your teeth start to yellow, touch-up treatments can help restore their whiteness. Your dentist can help you decide if prescription strength at-home trays would be helpful to whiten teeth. Similarly, you can schedule an in-office touchup appointment every 6-12 months to remove any newly developed stains.

Adopt Good Oral Hygiene Habits

A great way to keep your smile bright following whitening treatment is to practice good brushing and flossing at home. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day is one of the best ways to prevent stains while also keeping cavities and gum disease at bay. Brush all the surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes to remove food particles and bacteria from your enamel.

Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings and Exams

It is important that you maintain regular dental check-ups twice a year. Routine cleanings and exams not only keep your mouth healthy, but they can also help reduce dental stains. Professional cleanings at McLean DDS can remove harmful plaque and tartar more thoroughly than you can do alone with your toothbrush and floss. Your dentist will also look for early signs of cavities, gingivitis or gum disease while providing helpful preventive tips for keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening Today

In-office tooth whitening is a popular cosmetic treatment. It’s safe, produces immediate results and can be completed in a single office visit. If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening, call (703) 734-2750 to schedule an appointment at McLean DDS today.

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