Teeth whitening procedures are commonly sought out by coffee and wine lovers who wish to maintain a sparkling white smile. There are plenty of options available when it comes to teeth whitening, including in-office procedures, whitening gels, trays, pens, and LED teeth whitening kits. Regardless of your preferred option, the foods you choose to eat after the procedure is vital to maintaining your white teeth. Dentists suggest adopting a “white diet” after teeth whitening to help avoid staining your newly whitened teeth.
Remember, anything that can stain your natural teeth can stain your newly whitened teeth. Teeth are most susceptible to staining after a whitening procedure, especially during the first 48 hours after the procedure. It is therefore important to understand the best foods to eat after the procedure.
What are The Immediate Effects of Teeth Whitening?
The tooth consists of the root, neck, and crown. Whitening affects the crown alone, which is the part of the tooth that you can see. The crown itself has two layers: the enamel and dentin, with the enamel being the outermost layer. The enamel is porous (has microscopic holes) and gives the tooth its color, which may range from slightly yellow to white. A whitening procedure only removes the stains and plaque from the enamel. Since the enamel is porous, the dentin layer is temporarily exposed, which makes the teeth susceptible to re-staining. Dentists advise that you carefully choose what to eat after teeth whitening treatment due to the immediate effects of the procedure.
What Stains Your Teeth?
It is important to understand the components in food that result in teeth staining so you can carefully choose what to eat after whitening your teeth. The three main elements that contribute to the staining of teeth are tannins, chromogens, and acids. These are present in many foods and cause staining by making the enamel weaker, allowing stains to set in easily. Avoiding these elements for about 48 hours after treatment will help keep your teeth whiter for longer.
What Can I Eat After Teeth Whitening?
After the procedure, you should come up with a “white foods” list. This includes all the foods that have very low acidity and are less likely to cause staining. Here is a list of the recommended foods to eat after teeth whitening:
- Fish – Go for the white species like albacore and avoid dark fish.
- Chicken or Turkey – Besides being acid-free, these are healthy and great white foods to eat after teeth whitening.
- White rice – It is an excellent accompaniment for vegetables and meats.
- Pasta and white sauce – Avoid colored sauces like green pesto and tomato sauce for a pasta dish.
- Mashed potatoes – Be sure to peel off the skin before cooking.
- Bananas – A great snack and are less likely to cause staining to your teeth.
- Egg whites – remember to remove the yolk before cooking since it is colored.
- White onion – use this for your cooking and avoid the red onions.
- Yogurt – eating white yogurt for breakfast helps reduce the risk of staining.
- White bread – this is a great choice, especially for breakfast.
Other foods that are good for eating after teeth whitening include flour tortillas, porridge, white cheese, apples, cauliflower, and celery.
What Foods Should I Avoid After Teeth Whitening?
You probably already have an idea of the foods to avoid after teeth whitening, now that you know what’s recommended. These include the following:
- Coffee: Some people might find it difficult to leave this one out entirely. As such, it is advisable to add milk and limit the amount taken in a day.
- Dark tea: If you can’t do away with it, restrict it to two cups a day and add milk when preparing.
- Fruit juices: Other than being colored, these drinks are highly acidic and not good for your whitened teeth.
- Wine: Avoid this for its acidity and color (in the case of red wine).
- Fizzy drinks: These are not only colored but also acidic.
- Curry and tomato-based sauces: These foods have a similar staining effect on your teeth as they have on pots and pans.
- Dark fruits: Avoid any dark berries and fruits like blueberries as they can easily stain your whitened teeth.
- Chocolate and sweets.
- Tobacco: Smokers are advised to use nicotine patches to fight the craving and avoid smoking cigarettes.
While dentists may not mention all the foods that stain teeth after whitening, it is advisable to avoid eating or drinking anything dark in color or acidic.
After teeth whitening, teeth are not only susceptible to staining but temperature sensitivity as well. As such, all the foods that are recommended for eating after teeth whitening should be at room temperature.
Teeth Whitening Aftercare Tips
Besides choosing your diet carefully after a whitening procedure, it is essential to keep some aftercare tips in mind. Here are some tips that will help reduce the effects of teeth whitening and keep your teeth whiter for longer.
- Brushing your teeth at least twice every day.
- Flossing at least once a day to avoid plaque buildup over time.
- Rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day. This also helps prevent plaque buildup by eliminating bacteria.
- If possible, use whitening toothpaste at least twice a week. This acts as a basic touch-up and helps remove any stains on your teeth, which goes a long way towards preventing discoloration.
- Consider touch-up sessions. Depending on your lifestyle and diet long after a whitening procedure, it is important to schedule a touch-up session with your dentist bi-annually.
- Visit your dentist regularly to have your teeth checked.