Teeth whitening treatment is a popular procedure that promises instant whiter teeth that will boost your confidence. Although it only takes 90 minutes to complete the process of whitening your teeth, there are a bunch of dos and don’ts, including a list of foods you can and can’t eat.
The first 48 hours after whitening treatment is the most crucial time that impacts the results greatly. During this period, avoiding any food that can cause tooth staining, like chocolates, coffee, black tea, red-colored food and drinks, soda, soy sauce, and tobacco, is vital. However, you can still eat foods with whitening effects, like light-colored fruits, bread, eggs, cereal with milk, light-colored smoothies, and yogurt.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about teeth whitening aftercare and the consequences of poor oral hygiene after this whitening procedure.
Table of Contents
What is Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure involving bleaching the tooth enamel. While the target is to whiten the outer part, the bleaching gel soaks into the inner part known as the dentin, causing tooth sensitivity after the teeth whitening procedure.
There are two types of teeth whitening: gel whitening and laser whitening.
Gel whitening involves a mouthguard and a bleaching gel. In this method, the dentist gets an impression of your teeth and prescribes a bleaching gel and a whitening procedure you can do at home. You can let the gel stay on your teeth for up to 8 hours for maximum effects.
On the other hand, laser treatment, known as power whitening, involves light or a laser that enhances the whitening power of the gel applied to your teeth. Unlike the typical gel treatment, you can’t do this at home. However, the process only takes an hour to complete, and you can see immediate results.
You can also purchase some DIY whitening kits online, like whitening strips that promise whitening effects when used regularly. However, note that teeth whitening requires proper oral health and a white diet as a part of aftercare. Therefore, doing them at home without a prescription from a family dentistry clinic brings more problems than solutions.
What to Eat After Teeth Whitening
It’s crucial to maintain your carbohydrate levels despite your sensitive teeth. You can have sugar-free cereal with milk, bagels with butter or light-colored cheese, sandwiches with light-colored fillings, and pasta without tomatoes or other colored ingredients. You can also have potatoes, white rice, and white beans. You can make potato chicken salad with a white sauce if you crave salads.
For snacks, you can munch on some fruits like apples, bananas, and other non-acidic fruits or make a fruit smoothie using non-acidic and light-colored fruits with a bit of milk.
For your protein source, it’s best to avoid teeth-staining foods like red meat and stick with white meat. However, you can still enjoy many recipes with tofu, chicken, turkey, and white fish meats. If you’re in a hurry, you can easily poach or boil eggs. However, I recommend you skip the yolk to be safe and only focus on egg whites.
White cheese varieties also produce reasonable amounts of protein. Using yogurt, skimmed, or low-fat milk also provides a good amount of protein. You can use skimmed milk in smoothies and cereals for a white diet breakfast.
Fruits and Vegetables
You can eat all light-colored fruits and vegetables after the whitening procedure. For example, you can eat pears, apples, bananas, coconut, lychee, and other light-colored fruits as a part of your white diet, as well as light-colored vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, white onions, and white mushrooms.
What to Drink After Teeth Whitening
While you can still drink other beverages in moderate amounts, drinking enough water helps you hydrate while giving your newly whitened teeth that moisture and shine. Gargling water immediately after eating helps get rid of any stains.
Other drinks that you can have in your white diet include the following: sparkling water, coconut drink, white lemonade, clear alcohol, clear soda, clear tea, and white wine. However, due to tooth sensitivity, you may experience a tingling sensation upon drinking a beverage, but it's on a case-to-case basis.
Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening
It’s vital to take heed of the foods to avoid two days after having your teeth whitened. You should avoid any kind of chocolate, especially dark chocolate and coffee-flavored foods, as they are a potent cause of tooth discoloration.
It’s a basic rule to avoid dark colors when it comes to fruits and vegetables. That includes berries, tomatoes, cherries, and red pistachios. Also, avoid dark-colored sauces, including soy sauce, marinara, and spices like paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, curry powder, and dark-colored vinegar, like balsamic vinegar and red vinegar.
Drinks to Avoid After Teeth Whitening
Even when it’s very tempting, avoid these drinks to keep your white teeth:
- chocolate drinks
- red wine
- black tea
- caramel beverages
- dark beer
- any fruit juice that appears dark
It’s also essential to avoid any beverage with artificial coloring, like soft drinks, as it causes the most tooth discoloration.
General Post-Whitening Teeth Care
To prevent staining and tooth discoloration, here are a few simple steps you must follow:
- Quit smoking tobacco and related products. The tar from tobacco is very hard to remove, rendering your teeth whitening useless.
- Seek proper dental care. Teeth whitening causes dental crowns to lose strength, putting them at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Remember that root canals and dental implants cost way more than professional teeth whitening procedures.
- Maintain dental hygiene at home by brushing 2-3 times daily, flossing after brushing, and watching what you eat.
The most crucial part after teeth whitening is between 2 and 3 days. Reduce your intake of staining foods more often to prevent discoloration.
Yes. You can eat white bread, bagels, and white pasta as long as you stay away from dark-colored fillings like jams.
Eating potatoes and potato products is safe, as long as you skip the tomato catsup.