By Rafael Mercado, DDS on May 25, 2019
Professional teeth whitening can improve the color of the teeth by several shades in as little as 30 minutes. Teeth whitening is safe, affordable, and effective, making it one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatments. While teeth whitening offers dramatic results, patients need to be aware that they won’t last forever, especially if precautions aren’t taken.
Some of the beverages that people consume most frequently, like coffee and red wine, cause tooth discoloration. Patients don’t need to avoid these beverages completely, but they can take steps to slow the discoloration process.
At Castle Hills Family Dental, Dr. Rafael Mercado offers tips so patients can enjoy coffee and red wine after teeth whitening at our Castle Hills, TX dental practice, without compromising treatment results.
Take a Small Break
Many people enjoy a cup of coffee (or two) every morning, and it is just as common to unwind at the end of the day with a glass of red wine. It would not be practical to ask our patients to stop enjoying these beverages once they have undergone teeth whitening treatment. However, we do recommend that they take a small break.
Tooth enamel is a porous material, which is what allows stains and discoloration to develop. When a bleaching agent is applied during teeth whitening treatment, it opens up the pores of the enamel even more. Tooth enamel will be especially porous and more prone to staining for at least 48 hours after treatment. If patients can avoid coffee and red wine for the first 48 hours after treatment (or up to a week, if possible), they will achieve the best possible teeth whitening results.
Brush the Teeth Frequently
Everyone should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day, but the habit is even more important for wine and coffee drinkers. Ideally, patients should brush their teeth any time they have finished a cup of coffee or glass of wine so that these staining beverages are not able to sit and soak into the teeth.
Often, people enjoy coffee on the go or sit down at a restaurant to enjoy a glass of wine with friends. In these cases, the best a person can do is either drink a glass of water or rinse the mouth with water when they have finished their coffee or wine. Water can help clean the teeth until they can be brushed.
Keep Up with Routine Cleanings
At-home brushing and flossing is essential to a healthy, attractive smile, but nothing gets the teeth cleaner than a professional dental cleaning at our practice. To keep the teeth in optimal condition, we recommend biannual dental exams and cleanings. While routine cleanings cannot completely remove stains or discoloration once they develop, they can be helpful in preventing them.
Schedule Touch-up Treatments
Even if people take all the necessary precautions to preserve the results of teeth whitening treatment, discoloration occurs with time, especially among patients who regularly drink coffee and red wine. Touch-up teeth whitening treatments offer patients a great way to preserve a bright, white smile that is free of dental stains.
If you want to improve the color of your teeth and brighten your smile, you owe it to yourself to learn more about the professional teeth whitening treatments offered at Castle Hills Family Dental. Contact us at your earliest convenience or call (210) 405-1257 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rafael Mercado.