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Foods and Drinks to Avoid After Your Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment

Oct 04, 2022
Foods and Drinks to Avoid After Your Professional Teeth Whitening Treatment
Your professional whitening treatment has given you a bright, luminous smile that makes you feel fantastic. To safeguard your new smile after your session it’s important to avoid harsh or staining foods and beverages for a couple of days.

When you get a whiter, brighter smile with a professional whitening treatment at Hazel Dell Dentistry, you can expect to attain superior whitening results in far less time than you would with store-bought whitening kits; you can also expect your luminous new smile to last for at least 12 months — or up to 3 years — with good oral hygiene habits. 

Read on as our seasoned cosmetic dentistry, and smile makeover experts, Dr. Suzette Nikas and Dr. Chelsea Laucher, discuss why it’s crucial to watch what you eat and drink after your teeth whitening session and explain which specific foods and beverages you should avoid.

After your whitening treatment 

The clinical-grade bleaching agents in professional whitening treatments actively lift stubborn extrinsic stains from the microstructure of your enamel to give you whiter teeth and a more vibrant smile. 

Once the stain molecules have been lifted from your teeth, however, your enamel becomes temporarily more porous and has less micro-hardness. This is why some people experience mild dental sensitivity for a few days following an in-office teeth whitening treatment.

Being careful about the foods and drinks you consume for four or five days after your in-office teeth whitening treatment — when the microstructure of your enamel is momentarily more porous and vulnerable to stain molecules — can help you protect your new smile and set the stage for well-maintained whitening results. 

The “white diet” dos and don’ts 

For at least 48 hours and up to a week after your teeth whitening treatment, we recommend that you follow the “white diet,” or a short-term eating approach that helps you avoid acidic and pigmented foods and beverages that would stain your enamel while its microstructures are more exposed and susceptible. 

Foods and drinks to avoid

The foods and drinks you should avoid for a few days after your teeth whitening treatment contain high concentrations of dark natural pigments or artificial colors (commonly known as stain molecules in the dental world), which can readily make their way into the micro-channels and indentations in your tooth enamel. 

It’s not surprising that they’re the same foods and drinks which cause discolored teeth in the first place when their stain molecules buildup in your enamel microstructure over time:

  • Red and white wine (red wine has stain molecules; all wine is acidic)
  • Coffee and tea (coffee is acidic, and both contain enamel-staining tannins)
  • Carbonated beverages (if it fizzes, it’s acidic and hard on your enamel)
  • Dark-colored colas (in addition to being acidic, dark soda is staining)
  • Colorful sports drinks (the bright artificial dyes can be highly staining) 
  • Chocolate and colorful candy (both are staining when your enamel is porous)
  • Berries and dark juices (although nutritious, both are highly staining)

Remember, you don’t have to eliminate these foods and beverages forever. Your enamel is most sensitive to its effects for the first couple days after a whitening procedure. A good rule of thumb is to avoid these foods for at least two days, but for as long as your teeth may feel sensitive from the treatment. 

Enamel-safe foods and drinks 

Avoiding very dark, colorful, and acidic foods and beverages is all it takes to safeguard your new smile results following your whitening session. We thought it would be helpful to list a few light-colored, low-acidic foods and drinks that are safe to consume until your enamel is less sensitive:

  • Fish, chicken, and tofu (light, lean protein sources)
  • Rice, bread, and pasta (whole grains are best; avoid products with molasses) 
  • White cheese and yogurt (skip yogurts that are high in added sugars)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables (most produce is good for your teeth; avoid citrus fruits)
  • Water (it doesn’t stain, and it supports saliva and optimal oral health)

You can also follow your normal diet while opting out of harsh and staining foods and drinks and still preserve your whitening results.

Maintain long-term whitening results 

The best way to maintain long-term whitening results is through good oral hygiene habits: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-approved, nonabrasive toothpaste; floss at least once a day, and come see us for regular professional cleanings and exams.

To learn more about extending the results of your whitening treatment or schedule your next cleaning at Hazel Hill Dentistry, call or click online today.