Congratulations! You’ve just experienced a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure. The next 48 hours are important in enhancing and maximizing your whitening results for a long lasting, bright and healthy smile.
For the next 48 hours, dark staining substances should be avoided, such as:
Red wine, dark-colored beverages, juice, Cola, Coffee and tea
Red sauces, Mustard or ketchup, palm oil. Dark broth-based soups and stews, dark chocolate and other foods with a dark hue can also stain your teeth and leave an unsightly residue. Skip these as often as possible so you can maintain that bright white smile!
Don’t wear lipstick immediately after the teeth whitening session. Lipstick can stain your teeth and leave behind residue; when you’ve recently had your teeth whitened, your teeth will be especially vulnerable to discoloration.
Do drink beverages using a straw. Drinking through a straw reduces the amount of fluid that reaches the front side of your teeth; this can limit enamel breakdown and staining and is a great way to continue that coffee habit without the guilt.
The following information has been given so that you can make an educated and informed decision about having your teeth whitened. You have the right to ask questions about any procedure before agreeing to undergo the procedure.
Description of the Procedure
In-office tooth whitening is a procedure designed to lighten the color of your teeth using a hydrogen peroxide gel. The whitening treatment produces maximum whitening results in the shortest possible time. During the procedure, the whitening gel will be applied to your teeth for three (3) to four(4), 15-minute sessions. During the entire treatment, a plastic retractor will be placed in my mouth to help keep it open and the soft tissues of my mouth (i.e., my lips, gums, cheeks and tongue) will be covered to ensure they are not exposed to either the gel. Lip balm may also be applied. After the treatment is completed, the retractor and all gel and tissue coverings will be removed from your mouth. Before and after the treatment, the shade of your upper-front teeth will be assessed and recorded.
With multiple colorations, bands, splotches or spots due to tetracycline use or fluorosis may need multiple treatments or and may not whiten at all. I understand that teeth with many fillings, cavities may not lighten and are usually best treated with other non-bleaching alternatives. I understand that provisionals or temporaries made from acrylics may become discolored after exposure to whitening treatment.
Tooth Sensitivity & Pain
During the first 24 hours after whitening treatment, some patients can experience some tooth sensitivity or pain. This is normal and is usually mild, but it can be worse in susceptible individuals. Normally, tooth sensitivity or pain following a treatment subsides within 24 hours, but in rare cases can persist for longer periods of time in susceptible individuals. People with existing sensitivity, recession, exposed dentin, exposed root surfaces, recently cracked teeth, abfractions (micro-cracks), open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity or allow penetration of the gel into the tooth may find that those conditions increase or prolong tooth sensitivity or pain after whitening treatment.
If your teeth are sensitive after whitening, a mild analgesic will usually be effective in making you more comfortable until your tooth sensitivity returns to normal.
Gum, Lip, or Cheek Inflammation
Whitening may cause inflammation of your gums, lips or cheek margins. This is due to inadvertent exposure of a small area of those tissues to the whitening gel or the ultraviolet light. The inflammation is usually temporary which will subside in a few days but may persist longer and may result in significant pain or discomfort, depending on the degree to which the soft tissues were exposed to the gel. If you experience gum sensitivity do not brush the afflicted area while brushing your teeth.
Dry or Chapped Lips
The whitening treatment involves three, 15-minute sessions during which the mouth is kept open continuously for the entire treatment by a plastic retractor. This could result in dryness or chapping of the lips or cheek margins, which can be treated by application of lip balm, petroleum jelly or Vitamin E cream.
Cavities or Leaking Fillings
Most dental whitening is indicated for the outside of the teeth, except for patients who have already undergone a root canal procedure. If you have any open cavities or fillings that are leaking and the whitening gel penetrate the tooth, significant pain could result. I understand that if my teeth have these conditions, I should have my cavities filled or my fillings redone before undergoing the whitening treatment.
Cervical Abrasion or Erosion
These are conditions which affect the roots of the teeth when the gums recede and they are characterized by grooves, notches and/or depressions, that appear darker than the rest of the teeth, where the teeth meet the gums. These areas appear darker because they lack the enamel that covers the rest of the teeth. Even if these areas are not currently sensitive, they can allow the whitening gel to penetrate the teeth, causing sensitivity.
After the whitening treatment, it is natural for the teeth that underwent treatment to regress somewhat in their shading after treatment. This is natural and should be very gradual, but it can be accelerated by exposing the teeth to various staining agents. Treatment usually involves wearing a take-home tray or repeating the whitening treatment.
Additional Ways To Maintain Your Sparkling Smile!
Avoid staining related habits.
Regular professional dental hygiene care to maintain oral health, keep staining to a minimum.
Use whitening trays for touch-ups as recommended by the dentist.
Practice good oral hygiene by tooth brushing, flossing, and tongue cleaning. We will assist you in selecting the products to maintain not only a white smile, but a healthy one as well!
*Whitening is not a once on a lifetime event – your results will fade over time. How long whitening lasts varies between each individual and depends on a number of factors, including: age, starting tooth shade, history of trauma to teeth, diet, oral hygiene, and smoking.
Enjoy your smile!