Once you go through the time and expense of having your teeth professionally whitened, it only makes sense to do whatever you can to ensure those results last as long as possible. After all, you don't want to have to head back to the dentist for another whitening appointment just months after the first one! Here are some tips to preserving your results post-whitening.
Get serious about your brushing and flossing.
You should always be remembering to brush twice per day and floss daily, but this is even more important to keep your teeth white after a treatment. Use a whitening toothpaste; it will gently help scrub staining materials from your teeth before they have a chance to cause actual stains. Also, consider carrying floss with you so you can floss in the car, after lunch in the work bathroom, or whenever you remember.
Avoid staining liquids.
You might love coffee, red wine, or dark beer -- but do you love them more than you love your newly whitened teeth? Steer clear of these beverages as often as possible since they're notorious for staining your teeth. If you do indulge, drink your dark-colored beverage with a straw. This way, the liquid does not wash over your front teeth before being deposited on your tongue, so stains won't be created as quickly.
Keep up with regular professional cleanings.
Seeing your dental hygienist for a professional tooth cleaning every 6 months or so is not just important for the health of your teeth. It also helps ensure any tartar, which is a yellow, hardened substance that tends to accumulate around your gum line and the edges of teeth, is removed before it has a chance to become too thick and stubborn. Tartar contributes to yellowing, so keeping it at bay will make your teeth appear whiter.
If you're a smoker, then it's time to work on quitting. Otherwise, your teeth will never stay white! Switching to nicotine gum or patches might help if you just can't beat the addiction. If you're not a smoker, then don't start. Even the occasional cigarette or cigar bathes your teeth in tar, greatly contributing to the discoloration of your teeth.
To learn more about keeping your teeth white post-whitening treatment, speak with your cosmetic dentist. In the meantime, step back and admire the appearance of your flashy, whitened teeth. Remember that these results can last for years if you heed the tips above!