At-home teeth whitening kits are a great way to touch up your teeth between dental appointments. However, if you've never used a whitening kit before, you'll want to make sure you read the manufacturer's instructions thoroughly so that you extend the life of your product and use the product correctly. For instance, some whitening gels may need to be on your teeth for an hour while others may only need about twenty minutes. Besides following the manufacturer's instructions, you'll also want to develop good habits, like avoiding staining foods so that you can enjoy your whitening results for as long as possible. Here are five tips for whitening newbies.
1. Always Brush Your Teeth Beforehand
The whitening gel will work itself into your enamel more easily if there is no food debris on your teeth. Plus, if you are using whitening trays, you risk trapping bacteria between the appliance and your teeth for an extended period of time if you don't brush.
2. Use a Small Drop of Gel
Some people may accidentally add whitening gel to the entire tray, but you only need a small drop. A little goes a long way. When you fit the tray over your teeth, the gel will spread out over your enamel. If you use too much gel, it can seep out and irritate your gums; too much whitening product could cause tooth sensitivity. Plus, if you overuse your gel, you'll need to replace your whitening kit that much sooner.
3. Store Your Kit in a Cool Space
Warm conditions can activate the peroxide in your whitening kit, so you shouldn't leave the product out on the counter or in a hot location. Keep your kit in a cupboard when it's not in use. Some products can even be kept in the fridge to extend the product's lifespan.
4. Eat the Right Foods Afterwards
Some dentists recommend a white diet, which involves eating light-colored/plain foods after whitening. Foods like fish, yogurt, cheese, chicken, rice, pasta, pears, bananas, etc. are good go-to foods after whitening since they don't immediately stain your teeth.
5. Avoid Certain Dental Products
People may focus on avoiding certain foods, but certain dental products can also cause staining. For example, some mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride can produce yellow or brown stains. Besides, avoiding staining products, look for toothpaste and other mouthwashes that are geared towards sensitive teeth. Even if you don't use too much gel, you may experience some temporary sensitivity after whitening, so using special products can help you reduce that symptom.
Reach out to a dental service for more information about at-home and in-office tooth whitening.