If you’ve decided to invest in a brighter smile, you surely want to preserve those dazzlingly white teeth for as long as possible. Teeth whitening treatments use a bleach-based gel to remove stains, and while they can provide a gorgeous smile makeover, they’re not permanent. If you want to keep your teeth brilliantly bright for as long as possible, it’s important that you take a closer look at your diet and dining habits — in both the short term and the long term. So, with that in mind, let’s discuss what to eat after teeth whitening.
What Not to Eat After Teeth Whitening
First, it’s important to note that for the first 48-72 hours after you bleach your teeth, it’s especially important that you avoid foods and beverages with the potential to stain. Your teeth are susceptible to discoloration and staining immediately after whitening, so you may regret it if you grab a big ol’ Coca-Cola and a bowl of spaghetti!
Colorful Foods & Beverages
Very pigmented foods and drinks are more likely to cause discoloration. A good rule of thumb is that if it could stain a white t-shirt, it can stain your teeth. The following brightly colored items are best avoided:
- Colorful candy (skittles, M&Ms, etc.)
- Colorful spices (curry, turmeric, paprika, etc.)
- Dark sauces
- Dark beer
- Dark soda
- Red wine
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Tomato soup
Does the idea of foregoing coffee give you the jitters? If you absolutely can’t go without coffee or soda, drink it through a straw to minimize its contact with your teeth, and drink water right after to rinse it away.
Acidic Foods & Beverages
Because your tooth enamel is weaker and softer after bleaching, it’s also best to avoid highly acidic foods, as these can further weaken the enamel and increase the risk of staining. They can also affect your saliva and may even slow down the whitening process. Acidic foods and beverages include the following:
- Carbonated drinks
- Citrus fruit (lemons, oranges, grapefruit, clementines, etc.)
- Fruit juice
- Pickled foods
- Processed meats
- Tomatoes (and tomato sauce, tomato soup, etc.)
Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
Smoking (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, etc.) and chewing tobacco are some of the quickest ways to discolor your teeth. In the case of cigarettes, the nicotine and tar in the tobacco can cause your teeth to turn yellow. Obviously, the best thing to do for both your oral health and your smile’s appearance is to quit smoking altogether. But even if you aren’t able to quit right now, it’s best to avoid smoking or chewing tobacco in the 48 hours after whitening your teeth.
What to Eat After Teeth Whitening
So, what can you eat after a teeth-whitening treatment? Generally, it’s best to adopt a “white diet” containing light-colored foods that present no risk of staining for the two to three days following the treatment. The following foods and drinks are good options:
- Apple juice
- Cheese (white)
- Fish (white)
- Pasta with white sauce
- Soup (broth-based or creamy white)
- White tea
- Yogurt (plain)
Looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist to whiten your teeth? If you live in or near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. We offer Opalescence teeth whitening treatments, in-office procedures as well as take-home trays. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you!