A White Wedding: Dental Advice for Brides-to-Be

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Smile for the Camera: What Not to Do When Attending a Party After Teeth Whitening

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Have you just whitened your teeth in preparation for an upcoming party? Is your party within 24-72 hours of your whitening treatment? Then you are probably wondering how your newly whitened teeth might fare when exposed to alcohol and the various foods that could be on offer at the party.

Unfortunately, for the first 72 hours, you should avoid food and drink that contains dark pigment, such as red wine. You should also be wary of anything hot or cold. Exposing your freshly whitened teeth to these things could ruin your smile and cause you considerable pain to boot.

If you are attending a party soon after having your teeth whitened, remember to avoid doing the following.

Drink Dark Alcohol

Did you know that the whitening process also opens up the pores in tooth enamel? Dentists generally use a whitening gel that contains hydrogen peroxide. This bleaching chemical opens the pores in your teeth, and this allows the gel to penetrate deep into the enamel. This is a good thing because it means the whitening agent can whiten more of your teeth.

However, these pores don't close immediately or even soon after your whitening treatment. It takes approximately 72 hours for the pores in enamel to close after the teeth whitening treatment. During this period, you could inadvertently stain your whitened teeth if you reach for a darker-coloured alcohol.

Whitening agents whiten teeth by penetrating the pores. Staining agents stain teeth in exactly the same way.

As a result, avoid:

  • Dark alcohols like red wine, port, rum and even beer.
  • Foods with dark sauces like spaghetti bolognese.
  • Beverages with dark pigments, such as coffee.

If you do consume dark drinks, you can limit your teeth's exposure to them by drinking them through a straw. You can also keep a glass of water with you, which you can use to rinse away any staining molecules before they stain your teeth.

Drink Hot or Cold Drinks

Although it would be nice to have that glass of whiskey on the rocks, avoid it — unless you don't mind spending the next few minutes or hours in pain. Remember, the pores in your teeth are like little doorways for 24-72 hours after teeth whitening. Until these doorways close, you should avoid letting in hot and cold temperatures.

Since your teeth contain nerves, a soft, pulpy mass that supplies your teeth with blood and nutrients, irritating them with hot or cold temperatures can leave you in agony for hours. Worse, if a tooth nerve is badly affected, it could even die, leaving you with more dental expenses.

Are you attending a party after your whitening treatment? Remember, stay away from dark pigments and hot and cold temperatures, and your newly whitened teeth could be the star of the show, rather than the casualty.