I happily hopped out of the deep-cleaning chair to take a small break. It’s kind of pathetic that as much as I was happy to say goodbye to my braces (although I was appreciative of what they had done for my ugly teeth), I was even more joyous to finally reach the whitening process. I had decided nothing was going to stop me from getting this done! I made sure I used Sensodyne for a MONTH without fail (though this particular office suggests using it two weeks before the process). I normally do have the occasional teeth sensitivity during a certain time of month ahem. A kind of weird sensation =(; reminds me of cavity chills. First the dentist examined my teeth, then they placed a mouth separator, glopped on a ton of bleach mixture (I also heard a beeping noise at this time but can’t tell you what exactly it was as my eyes were shut; I just know it went with this step), placed a big pair of orange protective goggles over my eyes, shut off the examine room lights, turned on the UV lights and directed it towards my mouth (just like in the picture below), allowed to swallow since the mixture was placed in the front of my mouth, they handed me the t.v. remote, and left me alone to sleep or watch t.v. (with the occasional few returns to suction my mouth of drool). Pretty ha? This is what vanity gets you *snicker*; yeah an hour of self-inflicted torture and the occasional squirming in the chair. Squirming, you ask??? Well, during this process I felt several waves of teeth chills and popping as if it was from inside my teeth =(. I opted not to fall asleep since A) House was on *thumbs up* and B) I wanted to keep my mouth exactly aligned to the UV light machine. This was a complimentary whitening with my ortho package. Like yeah, I was definitely going to make the most of it! After about 45 minutes or so, Dr. M peeled the hardened “plaster” off my teeth and I happily rinsed and rinsed and rinsed *YUK*. He said my teeth may get lighter over the next two days, though I was skeptical of that. He along with my husband believe that there is visible lightening of my teeth. I’m tough to please I suppose, but I see only a small improvement and I’m slightly disappointed. I guess I was expecting Hollywood teeth in one go. I know, tall order for the years of neglect in my earlier childhood and young adulthood, tea-loving, previous short-cutting ways = /. Yesterday I started using my Go Smile ampoules (more than 72 hrs post-whitening) and have adhered to Dr. M’s after-bleaching instructions which I will highlight shortly. I did experience sensitivity for several hours on-and-off that day. It has thankfully since not returned =). I also spotted a tiny pale patch on my lower left gums (I was told the bleach mixture on gums can do this); however, it quickly disappeared afterwards like the dental assistant said it would. Dr. M reminded me that the whitening process causes teeth dehydration and that my teeth would gradually get back to normal over the next 48 hours.
General Post-Whitening Tips: To Ensure the Longevity of the Success of Your Treatment According To TeethWhiteningWays.com:
- Avoid drinking dark beverages e.g. tea, coffee, soda or any colored drink which can stain your teeth (post-procedure, your teeth can absorb any color for the next three days until they harden). Also avoid the juice of grapes, cherries, tomatoes, peaches, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, red wine, soy sauce, slushes, and popsicles as they contain a dye that stains your teeth.
- Don’t drink very hot or cold liquids as at these extreme temperatures, the temperature of your teeth tends to change radically. This sharp change in temperature causes the teeth to expand and contract, thus permitting stains to penetrate. Whenever you drink permitted liquids, use a straw as this helps reduce the amount of liquid that passes the front of your teeth and minimizes the breakdown of enamel.
- Avoid e.g. blueberry muffins etc, sauces or marinades that contain soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, beets, Spanish and Indian food.
- Avoid dark color food or soups, stews, dark chocolate which can also contribute to staining your teeth and leaving behind an ugly residue. Citrus fruits, due to their acidic properties, discolor the tooth enamel and should be avoided particularly last thing before bed. If you must eat them, then brush and rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating them.
- Sweets, chocolates and desserts, being sticky, can attract bacteria if you don’t cleanse your mouth well after eating. They also discolor your teeth and damage your teeth enamel.
- Refrain from cigarette smoking since its nicotine content stains the teeth and blackens them.
- Overall, stick to a healthy diet and drink a lot of water. This is good for your body and bones. Take multivitamins and plenty of protein to keep your teeth strong.
***Overall, please consult your dentist first before getting this procedure done! It may not be for everyone. One of the best simple tips I’ve seen online so far is that anything which can stain a white t-shirt is probably something you would want to stay away from post-whitening. Ask your dentist regarding anything you may be concerned about e.g. mouth rinses you may use afterwards (since many are artificially colored), etc. It’s always better to be thoroughly informed before any procedure (preparation, during-process, after-care, what to expect [within normalcy], signs or symptoms of abnormality, etc).***
Examples of My General Diet Post-Procedure:
- egg omlette with mushrooms
- baked chicken
- white potatoes
- hamburger with cooked onions, no ketchup
- soda: Sprite (cleaned teeth right after)
- pasta in olive oil is great too (though I didn’t have this)
- boiled/stir-fried veggies in olive oil e.g. green leafy, cucumbers, summer squash, you get the picture.
*Addendum: September 7, 2010
Dr. L’s office called back and instructed me to begin the Go Smile at home program a week after the in-office whitening procedure. Oh well, I guess I will have to wait a couple more days = /.