Professional tooth whitening is a great investment in the appearance of your smile. You’re likely thrilled with the results, and may even be experiencing a boost in your self-confidence now that you’ve had it done. Some studies show that whiter teeth impact how you’re perceived by the world, which can even have a positive effect on your career and social life.
You may be surprised, though, to learn that the results of tooth whitening don’t last forever. However, you hold a lot of the power over how long the results last, depending on your habits. Dr. Thomas Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains the top five things you can do to make your tooth whitening results last longer.
1. Avoid staining foods and drinks
Drinks such as coffee, tea, and red wine can stain your teeth, causing them to look less white. Certain foods may also stain your teeth, including tomato-based sauces, soy sauce, blueberries, and candy. In general, you should limit acidic and dark foods.
If you can’t give up your coffee or red wine, drinking it through a straw can help reduce contact with your teeth, which may help reduce staining.
Other less common factors can stain your teeth as well, including taking certain medications like antibiotics.
2. Quit smoking
If you smoke, you already know that you have many reasons to quit. You can add smoking’s effect on your teeth to the list, too. Smoking and chewing tobacco stain your teeth, and the effect is not minimal: tobacco is one of the most tooth-staining habits you can have.
3. Maintain healthy dental hygiene habits
Maintaining healthy dental hygiene habits plays a big role in the appearance of your smile. For maximum results, you should brush your teeth after every meal, and floss every day. If you find it challenging to brush your teeth after every meal, try to make sure you do so twice a day. Use a whitening toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.
4. Drink plenty of water
Drink lots of water throughout the day. Not only will drinking more water keep you hydrated and benefit your overall health, but it will also help to prevent stains from building up on your teeth. Drinking water washes away the bacteria and food particles that can produce stains.
5. Keep up with regular dental cleanings
Having whiter teeth is yet another reason to keep up with your regular dental cleanings. Getting a professional dental cleaning twice a year will help your teeth continue looking their whitest. During a tooth cleaning, we scrape away the tartar and plaque that build up on your teeth, which can leave your teeth looking dull and unattractive.
You can generally expect professional tooth whitening results to last for about a year, although this varies based on a lot of individual factors. If you’ve had tooth whitening and notice that the results seem to be wearing off, especially if you’re trying to avoid staining habits, it may be time to come into our office for a touch-up.
Whether you want to get your teeth whitened or ask about additional whitening procedures like porcelain veneers, we’d love to talk to you about your options. Call Dr. Thomas Sokoly at 202-280-2428 today, or request an appointment online.