Protect Your Pearly Whites

Food And Drink Ideas To Enjoy (And Avoid) After A Teeth Whitening Procedure

by Dr. Edmond Suh // April - May - June 2021

Who doesn’t love a bright smile? Sure, you brush and floss regularly ... but your teeth just aren’t as white as they used to be. While brushing and flossing are crucial for healthy teeth, food and beverage choices often mean people need professional whitening treatments to restore their natural whiteness, allowing them to get their beautiful smiles back. These procedures require an investment of money, time, and effort, so you will want to enjoy the results for the longest time possible. Therefore, choosing what to eat and drink after teeth whitening is of utmost importance.

Dentists advise that you avoid foods that stain teeth after whitening for at least two to three days after the procedure. A rule of thumb is that anything that can stain your white shirt can also stain your teeth. So, what can you eat after teeth whitening, and what should you avoid? (Please note these are not comprehensive lists.)

what to consume

Generally, it’s recommended that you stick to a white diet after teeth whitening, to ensure best aftercare results, such as:
– White fish: such as Atlantic cod and albacore; avoid dark species;
– White rice;
– Skinless chicken or turkey: these are lightly colored, healthy, and acid-free;
– Egg whites: be sure to do away with the yolk when cooking because of its color;
– White cheeses: because of their high calcium content, white cheeses improve overall enamel and gum health;
– Pasta: also a good choice, but avoid colored sauces like green pesto and tomato sauce;
– Potatoes: just make sure you peel them before cooking;
– White bread: great for breakfast, but remove the crust to avoid any staining risks;
– White onions: avoid red onions in your meals;
– White yogurt: any colored yogurt may result in staining;
– Bananas;
– Lemonade: not pink or other fruits;
– Water and sparkling water;
– Skim milk: avoid whole or 2%;
– Coconut water: avoid coconut milk;
– Colorless, carbonated-free cocktails.

what not to consume

Now that you have an idea of what’s recommended to consume after teeth whitening, let’s take a look at the foods to avoid. Generally, it’s advised that you steer clear of any colored foods and drinks as they risk staining your teeth.

Following is a list of foods from which you should stay away:
– Fruit juices: besides their color, these are highly acidic and contribute to teeth staining;
– Wine: its acidity makes the enamel vulnerable to staining, and what’s more, red wine contributes to staining since it is colored;
– Coffee: While this may be hard to cut out, it is advisable to abandon this beverage after teeth whitening. If you can’t, add some milk, limit the amount you consume, sticking to no more than two cups per day;
– Cola: any fizzy drink is acidic; cola is particularly colored and therefore could stain your teeth after whitening;
– Tea: avoid any dark tea as its effect on your teeth could be worse than coffee;
– Dark chocolate;
– Candy;
– Dark fruits: generally, avoid any berries for their color;
– Citrus fruits;
– Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and dark marinades;
– Dark soups;
– Popsicles;
– Tobacco: this may not be a food per se, but smoking tobacco is a habit that contributes hugely to teeth staining. After teeth whitening, consider using nicotine patches or alternative products.

Teeth whitening helps remove years of unwanted stains and makes you proud to display your smile. If you’ve gone the extra mile to achieve a bright smile by investing in a teeth whitening treatment, it’s vital to follow a special diet for several days after to ensure shiny, healthy teeth.

Dr. Edmond Suh

Owner of Supremia Dentistry, located at 1711 S. Main St. in Wake Forest.