Your appointment with the dentist for teeth whitening has been scheduled. It's almost here, and you're excited because you'll finally have those pearly white teeth you've always wanted.
You may now be wondering how to maintain your new smile after the procedure. Obviously, daily brushing and flossing are key, but what about your diet? What foods to eat and what to avoid after the treatment so that you keep your perfect smile.
The goal of this article is to provide you with all the information you'll need about what to eat after teeth whitening. You'll learn some dietary tips and how to take proper care of your pearly whites. Please continue to read!
How long after teeth whitening can I eat normally?
You can resume your normal diet 24 to 48 hours after you have completed your teeth whitening procedure. During this time, it is essential to avoid specific foods and drinks which can irritate your teeth or stain them again.
Foods to eat after teeth whitening procedures
Dental specialists typically suggest that patients follow the so-called white diet for approximately 2-3 days after teeth whitening 1. As its name implies, the white diet is a regimen which mainly includes pale and white foods.
Here is some more information about this diet and some ideas for friendly foods to eat after your teeth whitening treatment.
- Eggs and dairy foods. You can enjoy foods like yoghurt, white cheese, cream cheese, butter, etc. When eating eggs, it may be best to scramble them to reduce the harsh effect of the yolk pigments, or to eat only the egg whites.
- White meat and white fish. A good choice would be chicken, turkey, or white fish. Stay away from red meats such as beef, pork, lamb and so forth.
- White-coloured grain foods. Most eating regimens do not recommend eating white bread, but when it comes to teeth-friendly foods, it is a good choice. In addition, you can also consume pasta, white rice, white beans, and oats.
- Acid-free fruits and white vegetables. The fruits you can eat on the white diet include peeled apples and pears, as well as bananas. The vegetables that you can include in your menu are peeled potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, white onion, etc.
Sticking to the white diet for a few days after teeth whitening will ensure that you get the maximum benefits from the treatment.
Foods to avoid after teeth whitening procedure
The consumption of certain foods can cause teeth staining and sensitivity. You will be better off cutting them out of your diet for a couple of days if you want to keep your brighter smile.
Here are some common foods that you need to avoid eating after teeth whitening.
- Dark-coloured sauces. It is best to stay away from dark sauces that can cause staining and interfere with the results of your teeth whitening treatment. Avoid eating soy sauce, tomato sauce, green pesto, and ketchup.
- Salad dressings contain mustard, balsamic vinegar, or lemon juice. Such dressings can cause teeth staining. In addition, vinegar and lemon juice are highly acidic and can be bad for your tooth enamel.
- Spices. Avoid foods such as chilli powder, turmeric, and curry. They can irritate your newly whitened teeth. Instead of these, you can flavour your food with black paper.
- Chocolate and candies. Keep away from darkly coloured sweets, which usually stain your tongue. Say no to dark chocolate for at least 2-3 days after you have your teeth bleached.
- Dark fruits and citrus fruits. Although such foods contain a lot of vitamins which are essential for your well-being, it is best to cut them out for a couple of days. Try to avoid fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries which can cause surface stains. Also, refrain from consuming fruits with high acid content such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits.
Additionally, it is important to avoid using tobacco products after teeth whitening 2. Smoking is a bad habit that can cause extensive staining on your teeth. So if you are a smoker, it might be a good idea to stock up on nicotine patches before getting your teeth whitening procedure.
What to drink after teeth whitening?
When it comes to what you should drink after teeth whitening, your options are quite limited. But the good news is that you only need to adhere to these restrictions for a few days.
Beverages to drink after teeth whitening
The following beverages are safe to consume after professional teeth whitening.
- Still or tap water. Water is always a good choice. You can drink as much as you want.
- Coconut water and sparkling water. Both drinks are great alternatives to water if you're craving something different.
- Plain milk. If you are a fan of milk products, there is good news for you: milk and teeth are a perfect match. In addition, to plain milk, you can also enjoy a banana smoothie.
- Clear alcohol. The consumption of small amounts of alcoholic beverages such as gin or vodka may not harm you, but it is better to avoid them if possible. Such beverages are still slightly acidic and may irritate your sensitive teeth.
Beverages to avoid after teeth whitening
If you want to avoid staining and enjoy your whiter smile for longer, then be sure to not consume the drinks listed below for a few days. According to research, after consuming staining drinks may not effect the final results of the whitening procedure, however that would cause the treatment to potentially require more sessions and attain the results slower 3.
- Dark hot beverages. These include all kinds of coffee drinks such as espresso, cappuccino, latte, etc. You should be especially cautious with black coffee. Be sure to also stay away from any dark tea and hot chocolate. If you find it difficult to avoid coffee, choose one with milk and follow it with a glass of water.
- Dark alcoholic drinks. Say no to red wine! It is also best to avoid drinking dark beer and dark rum or liquor cocktails. Aside from staining, such drinks can irritate your sensitive teeth since they are highly acidic. For more information check out our answer to can you drink alcohol after whitening your teeth.
- Carbonated beverages. Fizzy drinks contain too much acid, which is definitely not good for your newly bleached teeth. Cola is especially dangerous because it is not only acidic but also coloured. Consuming such a beverage can significantly reduce the effectiveness of your whitening efforts.
- Fruit drinks. Make sure you don't drink any fresh fruit juices or nectar. Despite the fact that many of them are not dark in colour, they are quite acidic in nature. They may damage your tooth enamel (top layer of the tooth) by weakening it and making your teeth more prone to staining.
Unsure if you can consume a particular food or drink?
If you are unsure whether you can consume a particular food or drink, you can perform a simple test. Place a tissue paper on the food or drink that you are unsure about. If the tissue paper can pick up the stain, your whitened teeth can as well, so avoid consuming that product. If there is no stain or change in colour, then you can eat it.
A white t-shirt can also help you determine whether to have a specific drink or food. If the product can stain a white shirt, then you might want to think twice before consuming it.
Why it is important to watch what you eat after teeth whitening?
First and foremost, it is essential that you avoid having any dark foods or any dark drinks for a few days after teeth whitening. This is because, after the treatment, your teeth will be a bit dry, so they will absorb as much liquid from your saliva as they can. Drinking beverages such as coffee or tea will leave stains in your saliva. These stains will eventually be absorbed by your teeth, affecting the results of the whitening treatment.
Additionally, you should avoid spicy and acidic foods that can irritate your teeth. You will most likely experience some sensitivity in the days following your teeth whitening procedure. It will feel like a short, sharp pricking sensation on your teeth, similar to what you experienced in the dental chair. However, you shouldn't worry since this is a normal part of the whitening process. After a few days, everything will return to normal, and you can resume your regular diet. Until then, try to consume room temperature foods to avoid discomfort and pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I eat bread after teeth whitening?
Yes, bread is one of the foods which you can eat after teeth whitening. White bread that does not contain any food colouring or molasses is usually a great choice.
Can I eat chocolate after teeth whitening?
Dark chocolate is definitely something you want to avoid eating after teeth whitening. The dark pigments in this food can interfere with your results from the procedure and cause tooth discolouration. It is also good to stay away from white chocolate for a few days following your treatment. Although it is said that you can eat foods that are white in colour, chocolate contains a lot of sugars that may be harmful to your still sensitive teeth.
Can I eat peanut butter after teeth whitening?
Peanut butter is usually not a good food to eat with newly whitened teeth. Try not to consume it for at least 2-3 days. Your dentist will apply a whitening gel to your teeth during the teeth whitening session, which will take time to dissolve. When you eat peanut butter, it can stick to this gel and cause teeth staining.
Can I eat mayonnaise after teeth whitening?
Although mayonnaise is not one of the foods that stain teeth, it does contain acid and may cause irritation to newly bleached teeth. If you've just had whitening done, keep mayonnaise off your sandwiches for 24 to 48 hours.
Can I eat cheese after teeth whitening?
Yes, you can safely eat white foods such as cheese, milk, and yoghurt. As dairy products contain calcium, they can aid in the quick recovery from minor irritations caused by whitening.
Can I eat cereal after the teeth whitening?
You can have cereal, but be sure it does not contain sugar. You can combine it with plain milk, yoghurt or make a banana smoothie bowl.
Can I drink alcohol after whitening my teeth?
It is not a good idea to drink alcohol for the first few days after whitening your teeth. Because of the strong whitening material used during the procedure, your teeth will remain sensitive. As a result, highly acidic beverages such as alcohol have the potential to erode the enamel.
Can I drink wine after teeth whitening?
To achieve the best results from your whitening treatment, avoid drinking both white and red wine. Although white wine does not stain the teeth, it is high in acids, which can weaken your enamel.
Can I drink coffee after teeth whitening?
Take a few days off from coffee if you want to preserve the whiter teeth you achieved with your dental procedure. Coffee is known to stain teeth, so it may interfere with your results.
Can I drink tea after teeth whitening?
Tea is one of the stain-promoting liquids so be sure to not consume it for two or three days after you have completed your whitening session.
Can I drink soda after teeth whitening?
Do not consume soda or soft drinks after you have your teeth whitened. Such treatments include the use of a bleaching agent (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide), which increases the sensitivity of your enamel to acidic corrosion. Because soda is highly acidic and sugary, it can harm your pearly whites.