The following pre- and post-care instructions are important to your overall treatment. If you have any questions, please call the office.
- 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 Sensodyne 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 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 purchase a touch-up pen or a take-home kit, 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 until 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 your 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 anyways.
How long the results will last depends on 2 main factors:
- Your Habits
- 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.
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. If you are using the mouth tray, first apply the gel on your teeth then wear the mouth tray to cover the gel. If you are using the cheek retractor, first put it on and then brush the gel on your teeth. 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.