How to Maintain Your Bright Smile After Whitening

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Now that you’ve finally got the megawatt smile you’ve always dreamed about, you need to know how to maintain it. We’ve enlisted the experts to share their best tips for post-treatment smile care, so you can make the most of your shiny, happy investment.

With in-office whitening procedures, a laser or light source is used to intensify a bleaching agent, which is applied to the teeth. New York cosmetic dentist Irwin Smigel, DDS, says, “This is the quickest way to see dramatic results because professional whitening treatments can be performed in one office visit in as little as one hour using formulations and equipment that aren’t available at-home.”

Immediately after treatment, be cautious of what you’re eating and drinking. Staten Island, NY, cosmetic dentist Louis F. DeSantis, DDS, says, “Don’t eat or drink anything you wouldn’t want to spill on your favorite white pants for the first 24 hours. The material is still working within the crystals of the enamel.” Avoiding extremely hot or cold foods can minimize discomfort from sensitivity, which can last about a week. Dr. DeSantis recommends brushing with desensitizing toothpaste for about a week beforehand to minimize this post-treatment symptom

“After remineralization takes place, which takes about a week, patients can resume normal activity like drinking coffee,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS. Using a whitening toothpaste at home will also help you maintain the results. And Palm Desert, CA, cosmetic dentist René Dell’Acqua, DDS, recommends touch-ups. “This keeps stains from building up again. One five- to 30-minute touch-up treatment per month is all that is needed,” she says.

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