Teeth whitening is a cosmetic treatment that falls within dental cosmetics. It is referred to as ‘professional’ if it is performed by a qualified dentist at a clinic. The goal of the treatment is to reduce surface imperfections by making the teeth whiter, and consequently to improve the patient’s smile and thus the quality of life.
The corrective intervention of tooth discoloration begins after the dentist has subjected the patient to a thorough dental cleaning. The defects of the dental enamel, depending on the cause, can be treated through mechanical or chemical processes. It should be noted that professional teeth whitening allows for better results than home teeth whitening kits.
When is tooth whitening not recommended?
In the presence of certain situations, tooth whitening treatment is to be avoided. These are the cases in which it is not recommended:
- Diseased, damaged, or hypersensitive teeth
- Sore gums, canker sores
- Allergies or intolerances to stain removers
- Severe chronic diseases
- Young children under the age of 14
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
To avoid risk to the teeth and your health, consult with a dentist before whitening your teeth.
What to eat and what foods to avoid after tooth whitening
The duration of the positive effects of teeth whitening is influenced by the lifestyle of the person, especially after the session. While it is true that the appearance of the teeth often depends on genetics, it is still possible to adopt behaviors and oral hygiene practices to prolong the benefits of the treatment over time.
Dental health experts recommend you stop smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes, as well as cut back on coffee and tea which have been proven to discolor teeth. It is also known that licorice, chocolate, sugary drinks, and foods with artificial colors contribute to altering the original color of the teeth.
On the other hand, certain food types can promote and protect the health of the teeth. Those approved by the dentist are apples, carrots, celery, almonds, walnuts – important for their crunchy texture -, strawberries, kiwis, sesame seeds, parsley, broccoli, onions, green tea, sage, and mint.
Finally, oral hygiene plays a fundamental role in smile therapy. Brushing your teeth after meals, dedicating more than a few minutes to cleaning the mouth, reduces the formation of plaque and avoids the risk of tartar sedimentation, the primary source of dental stains.