So, you just got home from an in-office bleaching procedure, now what? How do you keep your teeth white for as long as possible? It probably won't be a surprise to you that it is in your best interest to follow strictly the aftercare tips provided by your dental professional. But in case they missed something, this post will give you guidance on what to avoid eating and drinking in the days following your teeth whitening treatment. You will also learn how to care for your smile if it gets sensitive after whitening. Let’s go.
Key Takeaways on What to Eat and Drink after Teeth Whitening
- When deciding what food and beverages to have after your teeth whitening session, you should be guided by the colour and substances that are responsible for staining your teeth
- It’s generally agreed that you should follow the "white diet" for a few days
- Smoking is strongly discouraged
- You can go back to eating normally a few days after you completed your teeth whitening procedure
What Foods Can You Eat After Teeth Whitening?
After you have your teeth professionally whitened, the basic principle that will guide you is colour. The lighter the food is, the bigger the likelihood of it being a good choice for you. A great rule of thumb here is: if it can stain a white shirt, then you shouldn't have it. Here is more on the subject.
What can you eat after teeth whitening?
- Dairy products such as cheese, milk, yoghurt, and cottage cheese
- White rice and pasta
- Cauliflower, potatoes, apples, coconuts, white beans, cashews, sesame seeds
- Poultry and chicken
- Garlic, onions, pine nuts, bananas, mushrooms, egg whites, and pears
When you ask around about foods you are allowed to have after teeth whitening, you will hear the term “white diet" a lot. As explicit as it sounds, this diet has you eat foods that are white or light in colour. Anything other than that can stain the teeth.
The first things that come to mind are dairy products like cheese, milk, yoghurt, cottage, cheese, etc. Other mentions include white rice, pasta, and anything doughy that doesn’t have added colourants.
Then, we should also add cauliflower, potatoes, apples, coconuts, white beans, cashews, sesame seeds, poultry and chicken, garlic, onions, pine nuts, bananas, mushrooms, egg whites, and pears to the list of permitted foods.
For the first 72 hours, avoid acidic foods and forgo abrasive foods at all costs.
What can you eat after zoom teeth whitening?
Adding a special light to teeth whitening is a common thing to do. It shatters the whitening gel, breaking down any stains faster than normal. Other than that, zoom whitening doesn’t differ much from bleaching because it uses hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide with the same concentration as its alternative.
Hence, the foods and drinks that you can and can’t eat are pretty much the same.
Consider white cheese and yoghurt, white bread, rice, pasta, tofu, chicken, fish, certain fruits and veggies, as well as water as your go-tos after the treatment. Water increases your saliva production, which helps clean the teeth after you consume acidic foods. So, its importance should not be underestimated.
What Foods to Avoid after Teeth Whitening Treatment? Which Foods and Drinks Easily Stain Your Teeth?
- Dark-coloured foods and liquids: black rice, chia, black seed oil, black beans, black garlic, etc.
- Foods that have natural colouring: red meat, chocolate, ketchup, tomatoes, spinach, strawberries, radishes, beets, matcha, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, red cabbage, turmeric, saffron, paprika, sweet potato, purple sweet potato, carrots, pomegranates, etc.
- Acidic beverages: alcohol, fruit juices, soft drinks.
- Other things to avoid consuming: curry, tomato-based sauces, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and sugary foods like ice cream, cookies, cakes, etc. (stick to white sauces instead if you can't do without any sauce at all).
- Drinks that are absolutely out of the question include coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juices, tea, red wine, and cola.
Can I Drink Alcohol After Teeth Whitening? What Habits to Avoid After You Whiten Your Teeth?
Basically, no. For the most part, it is a good idea to avoid alcohol in all its forms but if you really can’t help yourself, we recommend sticking with clear liquids such as vodka, gin, and white wine. Avoid fuzzy drinks and coloured drinks such as beer, red wine, tea and any juices.
Can I Brush My Teeth After Whitening?
Of course. You should do your best to keep your teeth clean at all times so that food doesn’t get the chance to stain them. At the very least, brush and floss like you normally would and don’t let food deposits sit for too long on your pearly whites.
Please note that these tips apply to both professional teeth whitening services and over-the-counter whitening with whitening strips and trays. For any questions regarding your white smile, contact your dentist.
How to Reduce Teeth Sensitivity after Whitening and Brushing Your Teeth
As dental whitening bleaches stains on your teeth, it can make the structures sensitive to hot and cold. The tooth enamel temporarily becomes more permeable, which leaves the dentin underneath unprotected.
One of the tips you’ll get from your dentist is to switch to a special toothpaste for sensitive teeth after your treatment. You can also use desensitizing gels. These are designed to block pain signals from the tooth structures to the nearby nerves.
When it comes to beverages, it is advised that you drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. If you have a sensitive tummy or suffer from bloating, this may not be a good idea, so give it a thought before you do it. It’s best to avoid anything acid-based, as well as cold and hot drinks because they can cause pain at this point.
If you have a lingering sensitivity, you might want to take ibuprofen or any other pain medication that works for you. Don’t go overboard with it, though.
Also, when brushing your teeth, be gentle and use a soft-bristled brush. Go with lukewarm water. Do not brush your teeth right after meals but wait for 30 minutes before you do so.
Last but not least, do not smoke. Not only will tobacco products stain the teeth undoing the results you got from the whitening session, but they can cause sensitivity issues. Plus, they aren't good for your oral health anyway.
Be sure to follow any tips your dentist provided and you will be fine. If you still experience tooth sensitivity greater than what you expected, get in touch with the specialist to vocalise your issues and get help. Whiter teeth shouldn't cause that big of an issue.
FAQ for Professional Teeth Whitening
Final Thoughts on Teeth Whitening Aftercare, White Diet and What to Avoid Drinking for a White Smile
Without a doubt, you should be extra careful about what you eat for the first few days and hours after teeth whitening. This way, you will avoid staining your teeth and maintain the pearly white colour of your teeth for as long as possible. The bottom line is, you should avoid fruits with acids and those that cause staining like berries, pomegranates, and cherries. Drinks that can compromise the colour of your teeth include the likes of wine, coffee, tea and fruit juices.
Avoid foods that have artificial colouring or natural colouring such as beetroots, spinach, tomato-based sauces, etc. If you follow these rules, your teeth will remain white for a long time.
If you cannot commit to a diet for a while, you should reconsider getting your teeth whitened as that would significantly decrease the effectiveness of the treatment.