When you take the time and money to get your teeth professionally whitened, there’s no doubt you want it to last as long as possible. Thankfully, prolonging your results may only take a few tweaks to your lifestyle. You may be able to stretch your investment for up to three years when you follow these simple steps.
Use a Straw
It’s not fair to tell you to give up your favorite (but staining) drinks, like red wine or coffee. It may not even be fair to tell you to drink them with a straw! However, if you really want to keep your teeth gleaming, it makes sense to safeguard them from things like cola or fruit juice.
Watch What You Eat
Drinks are usually the culprit when it comes to staining because the remnants tend to linger in the mouth. However, there are certain foods and condiments that you may want to limit as well. Things like chocolate, vinegar, or dark-colored sauces (e.g., ketchup, soy, etc.) may conspire against your professional teeth whitening. Even healthy vegetables like beets can cause staining (though we recommend you skip to the next step rather than give up nutrient-rich foods like beets).
Get Rid of Plaque
From flossing to brushing to water picks, there are so many ways for you to help keep your teeth free from the unsightly build-up that is plaque. Of course, you should also be getting your teeth cleaned according to your dentist’s recommendations (usually twice a year). You can also try drinking more water after black coffee or blackberries. It’s not quite as good as brushing, but it’s a good way to produce the saliva that keeps the plaque from clinging to the tooth.
If possible, try drinking immediately after ingestion, and then brushing about a half-hour later or so. Brushing immediately after eating or drinking may damage the enamel of the tooth and allow tiny openings for stains to collect.
Consulting with a dentist can help you get a better idea of how to avoid discoloration after your professional whitening. Some people are simply more prone to stains, which means you may need to take additional precautions to keep yours as white as possible.