Teeth whitening helps remove years of unwanted stains for flawless, sparkling teeth that make you proud to display your smile, and it can either be done professionally at the dentist’s office or on your own at home.
However, teeth whitening, whether done in-office or at home, can leave your teeth more prone to staining and sensitivity immediately after the whitening.
Therefore, it is usually recommended that you avoid certain foods and drinks after your treatment, especially within the next 24 hours, to help prolong the results.
Professional Whitening vs. Home Whitening
Professional whitening differs from at-home whitening in that it is performed in a more controlled environment to help ensure maximum safety. However, some dentists also offer teeth whitening treatments that can be used at home.
The teeth whitening products used by trained dentists are also designed to deliver more professional results. In fact, the results of professional teeth whitening are usually noticed immediately with continued improvement experienced over the next few days.
During in-office teeth whitening, depending on the product, your teeth may also be exposed to high-intensity light for more extreme stain removal. The dentist may use multiple applications during the session to also help increase the results.
Meanwhile, at-home teeth whitening, which also contains hydrogen peroxide as an active ingredient but in a lower concentration, offers more convenience by enabling you to perform the treatment on your own, and it is usually also more budget-friendly.
However, in the end, since both teeth whitening methods contain hydrogen peroxide, it can make your teeth extremely porous, which means they can easily soak up certain food colors like a sponge.
Furthermore, because teeth whitening is often recommended after you have had your teeth professionally cleaned, it can also increase tooth sensitivity.
Therefore, your dentist may suggest avoiding certain foods and drinks after teeth whitening to help keep your teeth looking and feeling great.
What Can Happen if You Consume the Wrong Foods or Drinks Following Your Teeth Whitening Treatment?
Deep-colored foods can naturally stain your teeth; therefore, to help keep your smile bright and healthy, you should avoid eating them following teeth whitening and then only consume them in moderation thereafter.
Meanwhile, highly acidic foods and drinks weaken the enamel, which can be further accelerated by hydrogen peroxide; therefore, they should also be avoided following teeth whitening.
Some foods and drinks you should avoid after teeth whitening include:
- Red wine
- Fruit juice
- Soy Sauce
- Chewing Gum
- Citrus fruits
- Plain coffee
- Black tea
- Products that contain tobacco
- Any dark purple or red colored foods
- Colored processed foods
You Should Also Avoid Extremely Hot and Cold Foods and Drinks
A few days following a teeth whitening treatment, it is not uncommon to experience sensitive teeth and gums; therefore, you also want to avoid consuming extremely hot or cold food and drinks, such as ice cream and hot soups, that can cause a sudden sharp, pain in your teeth.
Instead, stick to room temperature drinks and foods, such as applesauce, to help minimize pain and discomfort. Your doctor can also recommend a desensitizing product to help soothe or prevent irritation.
Foods and Beverages That are Okay to Consume After Teeth Whitening
For the first 24 to 72 hours after your teeth whitening, your dentist may recommend a diet of only light or pale-colored foods and drinks to help sustain the effects of your treatment.
Some white, light, and pale colored foods and drinks you may have include:
- White pasta alone or with white sauce
- White rice
- White Potatoes (without the skin)
- Chicken (without the skin)
- Egg whites
- White cheese
- Onions (white)
- White fish (without the skin)
- Crust-less white bread
- Plain Yogurt
Beverages You May Have Following Teeth Whitening
- Skim milk
- Coconut water
- Colorless, carbonated-free cocktails
Though clear soda, lemonade, and white wine are also white or pale-colored drinks, it is important to also avoid them after teeth whitening because they contain acid.
Eat More Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Natural, crunchy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, contain roughage that helps clean your teeth while also providing your body with much-needed vitamins and nutrients it needs to help keep your teeth healthy and strong.
They also increase saliva production in the mouth, which helps keep food and harmful bacteria that contribute to plaque build-up from sticking to your teeth.
However, steer clear of dark-colored fruits and vegetables and instead opt for light-colored ones, such as peeled celery, cucumber, apples, and pears, that won’t stain your teeth.
Consider Calcium and Vitamin D Supplements
Calcium helps keep your teeth strong and white by hardening the enamel and also increasing its density, which helps prevent dark-colored foods from easily penetrating your teeth.
It also helps prevent acids from prematurely wearing down the enamel, which can cause the teeth’s dentin to show through and also cause discoloration.
Wrapping It All Up
If after your teeth whitening, you are confused about which foods and drinks will stain your teeth, just remember, as a general rule, if the food or drink can stain your carpet or a white or other light-colored t-shirt, then it is likely to do the same to your enamel, so avoid it.
You should also consult with your dentist before undergoing teeth whitening because they can examine your teeth to ensure they are healthy enough for the treatment, to avoid further damaging or irritating your teeth, and also recommend whether professional teeth whitening or at-home teeth whitening is best for you.