It happens when you least expect it. You look in the mirror one day and notice that your once shiny and bright white teeth now appear dull and have a yellowish, brown tint to them. Luckily, teeth whitening treatments can get your teeth looking shiny and bright again in just a few weeks, but only if you do it at the right time.
Certain habits, the health of your teeth, and the timing of your last professional cleaning could impact how well your teeth whitening treatment works. Before you grab your at-home teeth whitening kit or schedule an appointment for a professional teeth whitening session, you will want to take the following things into consideration so you know you are whitening at a time that will allow you to get the best results.
Clean Teeth Whiten Better
Whitening treatments tend to not be as effective on unclean teeth. They aren’t effective because plaque, decay, and food particles block the bleaching agents from reaching the surface of your teeth. If the bleaching agent cannot reach the surface of your teeth, it cannot whiten your teeth.
In situations where only small portions of your teeth are blocked by plaque, decay, or food particles, your teeth will whiten, but you will have visible spots. The spots appear because the whitening agent worked on some parts of the teeth, but not others.
Make sure your teeth are as clean as possible for your next professional teeth whitening treatment or use of an at-home whitening by keeping the following in mind:
- When was your last professional cleaning? Professional cleanings should occur every three to six months depending upon the health of your teeth. If it is nearing the time for your professional cleaning, you may want to wait to whiten your teeth.
- Brush your teeth before whitening. Brushing your teeth before your teeth whitening treatment will make your teeth as clean as possible.
- Floss your teeth. Flossing will help you remove plaque and food particles that may be stuck in between your teeth or around your gum line.
Think About the Foods and Drinks You Consume and When You Consume Them
The reason whitening treatments work so well is that they actually encourage the surface of your teeth to open up and absorb the bleaching agent. Even after the whitening treatment, the surface of your teeth will remain porous for a while. Avoid unexpected staining or making your teeth appear darker in color by making sure you are whitening your teeth at a time when you can avoid dark colored foods and drinks.
For example, if you like to drink coffee or dark colored tea in the morning, you may want to consider a late afternoon professional teeth whitening appointment or use of at-home whitening products at night. If you like to drink wine or tea at night, you will want to whiten your teeth in the morning.
It is best if you could avoid all dark colored foods and drinks for several hours after a whitening treatment, but that isn’t always possible. Try your best to whiten your teeth when you know you will be able to avoid these foods and drinks for a prolonged period of time.
Think About Tooth Sensitivity
People with sensitive teeth should really consider professional teeth whitening treatment. These treatments have a desensitizer that will help to prevent your teeth from experiencing the painful post-whitening sensitivity.
If you prefer using an at-home teeth whitening system, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the likelihood of you experiencing post-whitening sensitivity. Some of the things you can do include:
- Whitening your teeth at night. This allows you to whiten your teeth, take an over-the-counter pain medicine and go to sleep. It also gives your teeth time to heal.
- Using an at-home whitening kit that came from your dentist. These kits often use whitening agents that aren’t as harsh as the kids you find in the store.
- Actively work to reduce teeth sensitivity by using toothpastes that are specifically designed for sensitive teeth.
Interested in getting your teeth whitened? Call Hancock Village Dental today to schedule an appointment to speak with our dentist about the best ways to whiten and brighten your teeth.