After your teeth whitening procedure, it's up to you to keep your smile bright and shiny. Understand that teeth whitening isn't a permanent solution. You will have to put in a little effort to both maintain the whitening procedure, and keep your teeth healthy in general.

Continue to Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Don't assume that your new smile means you don't have to keep up with daily flossing and brushing. These two things represent one of the most important aspects of keeping your whitened teeth bright. If you were a little negligent about brushing and flossing before, now's a good time to take to these habits with a renewed interest.

Discontinue any Habits that Lead to Staining

Having your teeth whitened does not create a barrier against those things that stain and discolor your teeth. You may have to break some old habits, or severely cut back on them.

Smoking and chewing tobacco – Both smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco will stain your teeth. Both nicotine and tar contribute to teeth discoloration. It might be hard, but if you want your money's worth out of your whitened teeth, then it's best to avoid doing these things.

In fact, whitening often serves to reverse tar and nicotine discoloration. So it's best not to re-do the damage.

Food and drinks that stain – A lot of food and drinks out there will stain your teeth.

  • Dark sauces (like soy)
  • Red sauces (like pasta sauce)
  • Berries
  • Anything sugary or acidic (like candies or citrus fruits)
  • Almost any dark liquid (soda, red wine, coffee, tea)

No, you don't have to completely cut out all of your favorite things to eat and drink. You just need to take steps to mitigate the damage these things can do to your freshly whitened teeth.

For example, you should brush after every meal. The best way to mitigate the damage from discoloring foods is to not let pieces of that food sit there in your mouth. When drinking, you should use a straw. The straw helps to move liquids past your teeth, so you're not washing them with acid and sugar.

Use Whitening Products

After a whitening procedure, you can keep the brightness going by using products with whitening agents in them. If you're not sure which products you should consider, ask your dentist. He or she can also recommend any additional steps you need to take to keep your teeth whitening procedure working for you going forward.

To learn more, contact a dental office like Lake View Dental Associates.