How long the results will last depends on 2 main factors:
1. Your habits
2. The porosity of your teeth
If you expose your teeth to staining agents such as tobacco, coffee, red wine, tea, colas, etc. on a regular basis, your whitening results will not last as long. If you have naturally porous enamel, your teeth will be more vulnerable to staining agents and your teeth will get stained again sooner than the average person. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing ahead of time how porous your teeth are. Generally speaking, if you have porous enamel and you expose your teeth to staining agents on a regular basis, your results may last for only 6 months. If you have non-porous enamel and you don’t expose your teeth to staining beverages on a regular basis, the results may last for up to 2 years.
TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Although uncommon, some people can experience some tooth sensitivity during the first 24 - 48 hours after the whitening treatment. People with existing sensitivity, recently cracked teeth, micro-cracks, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity may find that these conditions increase or prolong tooth sensitivity after the treatment. If you experience tooth sensitivity after the treatment, you can use SensodyneTM toothpaste to ease the discomfort. Brush your teeth with this toothpaste until tooth sensitivity goes away.
If you have tooth sensitivity do not begin with your touch-up pen treatment at home. Wait until the sensitivity goes away and then begin with the home treatment.
RELAPSE: After the treatment, it is natural for teeth color to regress somewhat over time. This is normal and should be very gradual, but it can be accelerated by exposing the teeth to various staining agents, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, colas, citrus drinks and fruits, etc. Do not eat or drink anything except water for the first hour after the treatment because the gel opens the pores of the enamel and makes the teeth very vulnerable to staining agents. If you purchased a touch-up pen or a take-home kit (which is highly recommended in order to avoid color regression) be aware that the pores of your enamel will remain open for as long as you use it so you should refrain from staining agents till you stop using the pen. You can resume your normal habits 24 hours after you conclude the touch-up pen treatment. Also, be aware that drinks and food are not the only things that can stain our teeth when the pores are open; lipstick, for example, can stain too. Do NOT apply lipstick soon after whitening your teeth.
ALLERGY: Some people are allergic to peroxide but are not aware of it. If you had the treatment done and a few hours or a day later you have a blister on your lips, you are probably having an allergic reaction to the gel. Buy liquid vitamin E in any drugstore and apply it to the blister until it goes away. It generally goes away within a couple of days by itself anyway.
If you purchased a touch-up pen you will need to use it either with a mouth tray or with a cheek retractor. If you don’t, your lips and saliva will wash away the gel. Your teeth-whitening technician will give you the mouth tray or cheek retractor that you used during the treatment. Apply the gel on your teeth (thin coat) and leave it for 30 minutes for as many days as possible (generally 5-7 days). We do NOT recommend overnight treatments as these can cause serious tooth sensitivity among other risks. Remember that during these days your pores will remain open and your teeth will be vulnerable to staining agents.
24-48 hours after the treatment
The White Diet is very important to any teeth whitening procedure. You must keep to this for 24-48 hours and avoid any food or staining agent that will cause discoloration. Remember that after the teeth whitening treatment the pores of your enamel are open and this makes them extremely vulnerable to any staining agents. Once the pores close, which usually occurs 24-48 hours after the procedure, you can resume your normal habits.
DRINKS YOU CAN HAVE: Still or Sparkling Water, Tonic Water, Lemonade, Skimmed Milk
DRINKS TO AVOID: Tea, Coffee,Cola, Orange Juice, Fizzy Drinks
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS YOU CAN HAVE: Vodka, Malibu, Gin, White Wine
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS TO AVOID: Red Wine, Beer, Guinness, etc.
FOOD YOU CAN HAVE: Chicken (dry or boiled, no fat), Turkey, White Fish, White Rice, White, Pasta, White Sauce, Cauliflower, Cottage Cheese, Potatoes (NO skin)
FOOD TO AVOID: Carrots, Peas, Sweet Corn, Broccoli, Green Beans, Sprouts, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Red/ Green Lettuce, Beetroot, Butter, Margarine
CEREAL: Rice Krispies are OK with Skimmed Milk (NO WHEAT)
BREAD: NO bread, only Pita Bread is OK
FRUIT: NO fruit since most fruit is acidic. Bananas are OK
SAUCES: NO Bolognese, Curry or Chili Sauce
SWEETS: NO Chocolates or Sweets. Chewing Gums are OK if unsweetened
Avoid extremely hot or cold liquids. These are dangerous to your white smile because they change the temperature of your teeth. This temperature change (hot and cold cycling) causes teeth to expand and contract, allowing stains to penetrate your teeth. Try cutting down on these types of drinks (including coffee and tea) or try drinking them with a straw to reduce the amount of time they are in contact with your teeth.
Avoid foods that are acidic. These foods open up the pores of the tooth enamel allowing stains to more easily move into your teeth. If you are drinking fizzy drinks or iced tea, you should use a straw. The caffeine in these drinks as well as the tannins in tea can stain the teeth. Using a straw can help minimize the contact of these substances with your teeth.
Cut back on drinking and smoking. Frequent consumption of alcoholic drinks and heavy smoking can reverse the effects of teeth whitening. Many alcoholic drinks such as wine have tannins that can stain the teeth. The same goes for the nicotine in tobacco. If you cannot quit drinking and smoking entirely, at least try to do it in moderation or lessen the frequency.
Use smudge-proof lipstick. Ladies, after going through teeth whitening, you should consider switching your current lipstick for the smudge-proof kind. Some kinds of lipstick tend to cling to the teeth, and the pigments by which lipsticks are made can contribute to the discoloration of your teeth. Using smudge-proof lipstick not only prevents the lipstick itself from getting to your teeth but also minimizes the need to retouch your makeup.