After you get your teeth whitened, you want to keep them white for as long as possible. As well as brushing and flossing, you might be careful with some foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. When you have just had your teeth cleaned, they are vulnerable to staining, so you have to be particularly careful.
Avoiding coffee and red wine is not always enough. Some foods can stain your teeth as well. You might limit certain foods, brush your teeth after you eat these foods, or rinse your mouth out with water to prevent stains.
Be Very Careful For at Least The First 48 Hours
It is crucial to avoid potentially staining foods and drinks for the first 48 hours after you get your teeth cleaned. You might extend that time to a few days, or maybe even a week after the cleaning if you want to be as careful as possible. Teeth whitening will make your teeth more vulnerable to staining.
Bleaching agents can open the pores in your teeth and can dehydrate them. If your teeth are dehydrated and have wide pores, they will absorb liquids easily, including liquids that can cause stains. You should avoid potentially staining foods/drinks for a few days; after that, you do not have to be as careful.
What Should You Avoid After Teeth Whitening?
Smoking is the first thing to avoid. If you cannot quit smoking right now, you might stop smoking for just a few days while your teeth are more likely than usual to absorb stains. Use a nicotine replacement product such as a nicotine patch instead.
Coffee and red wine are the obvious drinks to avoid. After a few days, you might drink coffee and red wine, but don’t use them while your teeth can absorb stains so easily.
Any processed food that contains dyes and food coloring is not a good idea. Sports drinks with a lot of food coloring in them are as bad as red wine and should be avoided for at least a few days after you get your teeth whitened.
What Foods Might Stain Your Teeth?
During the first few days after teeth whitening, your teeth are so vulnerable to staining that you have to be careful what you eat as well as drink. Candy and chocolate are bad for your teeth while they are vulnerable. Chocolate can stain your dehydrated teeth easily, and you should eat as little sugar as possible during the first few days after treatment.
Dark-colored fruit is also risky. Berries are a bad idea – they contain natural pigments that can stain your teeth just as easily as artificial colors in sports drinks can. Pomegranates and cherries are bad. Juices containing dark fruits and berries are not ok either.
Other foods and drinks to avoid are:
- Beer, especially if dark-colored
- Soy sauce
- Any kind of chocolate or caramel
- Bright-colored spices
- Chewing tobacco
- Colorful sauces
- Red pistachio nuts
What Can I Eat After Teeth Whitening?
The best foods are light-colored, natural rather than processed, and acid-free. Chicken is a great choice – it is light-colored and contains no sugar or acid. Chicken seasoned with dark-colored sauce is not a good idea, but it is great otherwise.
Bread, pasta, rice, and other grain foods cannot stain your teeth. Fish, white cheese, vegetables, and light-colored meat are all safe. There is nothing wrong with mushrooms, cauliflower, or potatoes. Most fruits are fine, not including some darker colored ones.
Breakfast cereal is fine as long as it is low in sugar. You can also eat eggs, bagels (jam is not a good idea), milk, or smoothies made out of lighter-colored fruits.
Sandwiches are fine but avoid mustard, jam, and jelly. White cheese is fine, but orange cheese can stain your teeth. Pizza is fine, but be careful what sauces you use. Dark-colored sauces are too strong for the first few days after you get your teeth whitened.
Eat lighter-colored foods in general, and you should be fine. Avoid acidic foods such as lemons. Salads containing lettuce, potatoes, and macaroni are fine.
Black beans might not be the best idea – the last thing you want to do is re-stain your teeth right after you get them whitened. Clear sodas, water, milk, light-colored tea, and apple juice are all fine for your teeth.