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When Can I Brush My Teeth After Professional Teeth Whitening?

May 01, 2023

What Is Teeth Whitening? 

It is a cosmetic dental procedure that removes stains and discoloration from teeth to create a brighter, whiter smile. The whitening process generally entails using bleaching agents, such as hydrogen peroxide. These agents usually penetrate the enamel, breaking down the molecules that cause discoloration.

Professionally, there are two main types of teeth whitening in Providence, RI:

  1. In-office whitening – involves visiting a dental professional who will perform a bleaching process in the office. This method works great because dentists a stronger bleaching solution and use a special light or laser to activate the whitening process.

  2. At-home whitening – involves using custom-made trays filled with a whitening gel that you wear for a certain period each day or overnight, as instructed by your dentist. These trays are created by a dentist, not acquired over the counter.

When Do You Need Teeth Whitening? 

Many factors can stain become or discolor teeth, including:

  1. Consuming dark-colored foods and drinks, such as coffee, tea, red wine, and berries

  2. Smoking and using other tobacco products

  3. As you age, the outer layer of your teeth (enamel) thins, which can make the yellowish dentin underneath more visible.

  4. Certain medications, such as tetracycline and antihistamines

  5. A traumatic injury to a tooth

  6. Genetic factors affect teeth’ structure and color. Some people are born with naturally darker or yellowish teeth due to genetics.

Should You Brush Your Teeth Before Whitening?

If you are asking this question, you are not the only one. Many patients want to know whether they should brush their teeth before whitening. Dentists agree that brushing teeth beforehand is great to remove surface plaque, debris, and even stains. This way, you can better the results of your teeth whitening treatment. Besides, sometimes cosmetic dentists will begin your treatment with dental cleaning to eliminate plaque and tartar before beginning the bleaching process.

​Teeth Whitening Aftercare Tips 

After undergoing teeth whitening, following proper aftercare will ensure the best possible results and maintain your newly brightened smile longer. Here are some tips:

  1. Avoid consuming staining foods and beverages – particularly during the first 24-48 hours after whitening. However, you generally want to stay away from darkly pigmented foods and beverages, such as coffee, tea, red wine, tomato sauce, and berries. If you must consume these foods, rinse your mouth with water afterward.

  2. Don’t smoke or use tobacco products – it can stain teeth and compromise the results of your whitening treatment.

  3. Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice and flossing daily. It will prevent staining and maintain incredible results.

  4. Use toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth.

  5. Get touch-up treatments from the dentist who performed your initial professional teeth whitening. These retouches are crucial once every 6 to 12 months.

  6. Avoid using colored mouthwashes containing colorants that can stain teeth.

​Risks of Brushing Teeth Too Soon After Professional Whitening

After professional teeth whitening, cosmetic dentist in Providence, RI recommend waiting a bit, usually about 6 to 24 hours, before brushing your teeth to avoid any damage to the enamel. Some risks of brushing teeth too soon after teeth whitening are:

  1. Enamel damage: Professional Whitening methods use powerful bleaching agents that can weaken the tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth too soon after the procedure can further damage the enamel, making teeth more susceptible to sensitivity, decay, and other dental problems.

  2. Increased tooth sensitivity: Brushing your teeth too soon after whitening can also increase tooth sensitivity. It can cause discomfort and make it difficult to eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages.

  3. Reduced effectiveness of the treatment: Brushing your teeth too soon after whitening can reduce the effectiveness of the bleaching, leading to less noticeable results. Therefore, you may need additional treatments to achieve your desired level of whitening.

Taking some time before brushing your teeth after teeth whitening at Drs. Rubinstein and Ducoff allow the tooth enamel to re-harden and regain its strength. You can also rinse your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash to help remove any leftover whitening gel or debris.

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