Hardly anyone can say they have naturally perfect, snowy-white teeth. The foods and drinks we consume, smoking habits, and even certain medications can cause discoloring over time. It can’t hurt to use whitening methods, right? Not quite. It’s important to consult your dentist before trying out different products. Once you’ve either made an appointment for professional whitening or have been suggested an approved method, remember not to go overboard.
Excessively bleaching your teeth won’t perfect them; in fact, it does the opposite. Patients with what dentists call bleachorexia provide prime examples of the damage it encourages. Bleachorexia is a behavioral disorder, similar to anorexia, which makes the patient think that their teeth are never white enough. This begets obsessive bleaching, a self-destructive habit.
Over-whitening your teeth causes severe erosion, gingival irritation, and increased sensitivity. It is imperative not to tamper with the coloring unless your chompers truly need it, and it should only be done as frequently as recommended. In other words, if your teeth are already white, leave them alone, and always consult your dentist first.
Once you’ve had your teeth bleached, it’s important to maintain the results so you can go longer between whitening treatments.
- For at least 48 hours after the treatment, avoid foods and beverages that could stain your teeth, such as coffee, acidic fruits, fruit juices, dark chocolate, and dark sauces. Stick to colorless liquids, fruits without citrus, white vegetables, and white meat.
- Brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash once a day, which will help to kill bacteria that cause plaque build-up.
- Visit your dentist regularly to check up on the state of your pearly whites.