Your smile is one of your most important attributes and has a huge impact on someone’s first impression of you. Teeth whitening is a great way to make those pearly whites shine and give you a huge boost to your self-confidence. After getting your teeth whitened, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t eat to ensure your teeth stay white!
Why Is Teeth Whitening A Good Option?
Teeth begin to color for a variety of different reasons, often reasons we have no control over. Teeth whitening can help reduce the unwanted effects of coloring, restoring your self-confidence. Here are some of the reasons why you might be interested in teeth whitening:
- A younger appearance – A mouth full of pearly whites can help you look much younger!
- An upcoming special event – Getting your teeth whitened for a job interview can help increase your chances of getting the job. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, people with straight white teeth are 58% more likely to have professional success.
- To boost your self-confidence – A mouth full of stained or darkened teeth can lead to a dip in your self-confidence
- To make a positive first impression – Your teeth are one of the first things people notice about you. White teeth go a long way in making a positive impression on someone. 29% of Americans say that the teeth are the first facial feature noticed when meeting someone.
Teeth whitening can help improve not only your social standing but your professional standing as well.
How Does Teeth Whitening Work?
There are two different classifications for tooth stains, extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on the surface of your tooth and are the most common form of staining. Intrinsic stains are located between the microcracks in your enamel deep within your dentin (the layer underneath the enamel).
Teeth whitening usually uses a gel that contains active whitening ingredients like carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. This gel penetrates the enamel of your teeth, getting to the discolored molecules. The oxygen from the whitening agents breaks the bonds that hold the discolored molecules together, spreading and whitening the entire tooth.
Different Types of Teeth Whitening
There are several different teeth whitening methods. Methods such as teeth whitening toothpaste and teeth whitening gels can be bought in your local grocery store and require little effort on your part. Professional teeth bleaching requires a dentist but can be the most effective way to whiten your teeth. Here’s what goes into each method:
- Teeth whitening toothpaste – These kinds of toothpaste use abrasives to help remove surface stains from your teeth. Certain whitening toothpastes use special polishing agents to boost the effectiveness of the toothpaste
- Teeth whitening gels – Gels are applied by using a small brush. Gels will usually take several days to set in and can last for up to four months.
- Strips – Strips are covered with a peroxide-based gel that works on removing tough stains. These strips should be applied twice a day for 30 minutes at a time. Results will show within a few days and should last for up to four months.
- Professional teeth bleaching – Teeth bleaching is the most effective teeth whitening method. Dentists use gels that are much stronger agents than over-the-counter products which result in stronger whitening.
There are other forms of teeth whitening but these are the most common and accessible.
Foods To Avoid After Teeth Whitening
After getting your teeth whitened, the last thing you want to do is stain them immediately! It would be like taking your white shirt out of the dryer then proceeding to recklessly eat spaghetti bolognese. Here are some of the foods you should avoid after getting your teeth whitened:
- Dark or colored liquids – This includes tea, coffee, red wine, dark sodas, and tomato juice. Essentially, if it would be a disaster if spilled on your carpet, avoid it.
- Acidic beverages – This includes sodas, fruit juices, alcohol, and sports drinks. This is because the acid eats away at the enamel of your teeth.
- Foods with colorants – This includes beef, soy sauce, and other sauces, ketchup and chocolate.
- Sugary foods – This includes cakes, cookies, ice cream, and candy. Sugar triggers decay-causing bacteria which can lead to irritation and staining.
The rule of thumb is to avoid any food or drink that would leave a visible stain on a white piece of clothing for the first 24 hours after whitening.
Foods To Eat After Teeth Whitening
You may be wondering: what can I eat if everything that’s tasty is off-limits? While the absence of cake, red wine and coffee will be deeply felt, there are still plenty of tasty foods that you can eat after whitening your teeth. Here are some of the food you can eat after getting your teeth whitened:
- Skinless turkey or chicken – Remove any fat from the meat
- Whitefish – Steer clear of spices or sauces
- Egg Whites – The yokes could stain your teeth
- White cheeses
- Skimmed or low-fat milk
These are some foods to enjoy during the post-whitening period but these foods can also help prevent staining in the future.
Other Tips For Post-Whitening Period
Contrary to popular belief, you can and are expected to brush your teeth after getting your teeth whitened. It’s important to use a soft-bristle toothbrush and a non-abrasive form of toothpaste. There are toothpastes that are designed for sensitive teeth that may be an option you want to consider.
Avoid tobacco and vaping products at all costs! These can completely undo all the good that the teeth whitening did in no time at all. Drink as much water as you would like with tap water being the most recommended as it contains fluoride.