• July 2, 2024
  • Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic procedure that can significantly enhance your smile. However, maintaining those pearly whites requires careful attention to your diet immediately following the treatment.

Here, we will discuss what to eat after teeth whitening and what not to eat after teeth whitening to ensure your teeth stay bright and healthy.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the colour of your teeth and remove stains and discoloration.

Getting your teeth whitened can be achieved through various methods, including in-office treatments by a dentist, take-home kits prescribed by a dentist, or over-the-counter whitening products.

The active ingredients in these treatments typically include hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which help break down stains on the enamel and dentin layers of the teeth.

While teeth whitening treatment is generally safe, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions and post-treatment care guidelines to maximise results and minimise risks.

The Teeth Whitening Procedure

The professional teeth whitening procedures usually involves the following steps:

  1. Preparation: The dentist will begin the teeth whitening process by cleaning your teeth to remove any plaque and debris. This ensures the whitening agent can be applied evenly.
  2. Protection: Your gums and other soft tissues will be protected with a barrier to prevent irritation from the whitening gel.
  3. Application: The whitening gel, which contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, is applied to the surface of your teeth.
  4. Activation: In some treatments, a special light or laser is used to activate the whitening agent, speeding up the process.
  5. Rinse and Evaluation: After a set period, the gel is rinsed off, and the dentist will evaluate the results. Additional applications may be performed to achieve the desired level of whiteness.

This procedure typically takes about an hour, and teeth whitening results can be seen immediately. However, it’s crucial to follow post-treatment care to maintain the results.

What Can I Eat After Teeth Whitening | What Can You Eat After Teeth Whitening

Foods to eat after teeth whitening include white foods, egg whites, vegetables and more.

Foods to Eat After Teeth Whitening

After a teeth whitening treatment, your teeth are more susceptible to staining and discoloration. To protect your investment, it’s crucial to consume foods and beverages that are less likely to stain your teeth. Here are some safe options:

  • White Foods: Foods like white fish, chicken, and turkey are excellent choices. These foods are light in colour and are less likely to stain your teeth.
  • Egg Whites: Scrambled eggs or omelettes made with egg whites are a great source of protein without the risk of staining.
  • White Cheese: Enjoy mozzarella, cottage cheese, or cream cheese. These cheeses are light in colour and are less likely to harm your newly whitened teeth.
  • Vegetables: Choose cauliflower, potatoes, and mushrooms. These vegetables are light-coloured and safe for your teeth.
  • Fruits: Opt for apples, bananas, and pears. These fruits are less likely to cause staining.
  • Pasta and Rice: Plain pasta and rice without any added sauces are safe to eat.
  • Creamy White Sauces: Sauces like Alfredo or white cheese sauces are good options as they lack strong pigments that can stain your teeth.

Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening

To maintain your bright smile, it’s equally important to avoid certain foods and beverages that are more likely to stain your teeth. Here’s what to avoid:

  • Dark Beverages: Avoid coffee, dark tea, and soft drinks. These drinks contain strong pigments that can easily stain your teeth.
  • Red Wines and Dark Juices: Beverages like red wine, grape juice, and cranberry juice are notorious for causing stains.
  • Coloured Sauces: Stay away from soy sauce, tomato sauce, and balsamic vinegar. These sauces can cause significant staining.
  • Brightly Colored Foods: Foods like beets, berries, and dark fruits should be avoided as they can stain teeth.
  • Dark Meats: Red meats like beef and lamb can also contribute to staining.
  • Spices and Condiments: Avoid spices like turmeric and condiments like green pesto and dark mustards.
  • Fizzy Drinks and Fruit Juices: Carbonated drinks and dark fruit juices can erode enamel and stain teeth, so it’s best to avoid them.
  • Sweet Potatoes: While nutritious, their deep colour can contribute to staining.
What Foods to Eat After Teeth Whitening | What Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening

Tips for maintaining your whitened teeth include brushing and flossing regularly and using a straw.

Tips for Maintaining Your Whitened Teeth

Here are some tips to help you maintain your bright smile post-treatment:

  • Brush and Floss Regularly: Maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine to prevent plaque buildup. This can also help prevent tooth decay.
  • Use a Straw: When drinking beverages that could stain your teeth, use a straw to minimise contact with your teeth.
  • Rinse Your Mouth: Rinse your mouth with water after consuming staining foods or beverages.
  • Whitening Toothpaste: Using a whitening toothpaste may help maintain your teeth’s brightness but results can vary.

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Below, you can find more FAQs about foods you can and cannot eat after teeth whitening, but if you need any more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Or you can use the online form to book an appointment.

How long should I avoid coloured foods and beverages after teeth whitening?

It’s recommended to avoid these items for at least 48 hours after the treatment. During this period, your teeth are more porous and vulnerable to absorbing stains. Sticking to a white diet may help preserve the results of your whitening treatment, but individual results can vary.

Can I drink coffee if I use a straw?

Yes, using a straw can help reduce the contact between the coffee and your teeth, minimising the risk of staining. However, it’s best to avoid drinking coffee altogether for the first 48 hours to ensure optimal results. If you must drink coffee, use a straw and rinse your mouth afterward.

Is green tea safe to drink after teeth whitening?

No, green tea, like other teas, can still cause staining. It’s best to avoid it for a few days after your treatment. If you must drink tea, opt for a lighter-coloured herbal tea and use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.

What should I do if my teeth start to stain again?

If your teeth begin to stain, use a whitening toothpaste and maintain good oral hygiene practices. Consider touch-up treatments as recommended by your dentist, and try to avoid foods and beverages known to cause staining. Regular dental check-ups can also help monitor and address any staining, but results may vary depending on individual factors.

Are there any foods that can help keep my teeth white?

Yes, certain foods like apples, celery, and carrots can help clean your teeth as you eat them. These crunchy fruits and vegetables can act as natural toothbrushes, helping to scrub away plaque and surface stains. Additionally, dairy products like cheese and yoghurt can help neutralise acids and strengthen tooth enamel.

General Information Disclaimer: The content provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The information on this site is general in nature and may not reflect current medical developments or research. Your reliance on any information provided by this site is solely at your own risk.

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh
About The Author

Dr. Catherine-Anne Walsh

Catherine-Anne is a New Zealand-qualified dentist. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from Sydney University and she has a broad range of experiences from working in both the public and private sector.


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