First the good news. There’s not a huge amount that you need to think about before your teeth whitening procedure. If you're teeth are in good shape just brush teeth and get started. If you haven't seen your dentist for awhile we recommend that you schedule a scale and clean to make sure your teeth are in tip-top condition before whitening.
As you may already know, there are several options available to you when it comes to whitening your teeth. These include:
- Teeth Whitening Trays
- In-Office Procedures
- Dentist Take-Home Kits
Each of these works slightly differently, but they all have one thing in common - right after the treatment your teeth will be more susceptible to staining. That’s why you must be careful with your diet over the next 24 hours. No matter which option you choose it is always best to whiten your teeth just prior to going to bed to avoid any temptations.
Foods and Habits that Stain Teeth After Whitening
First and foremost, if you smoke cigarettes please consider quitting altogether. It’s a habit that will have you needing further tooth bleaching treatments. If you do smoke, avoid it for the first 24 hours after whitening your teeth. You can use an e-cig, but don’t overdo it.
Feel free to brush your teeth but choose a plain white toothpaste. Those red or blue gels are out. Avoid colored mouthwash as well.
As you can imagine, tea, red wine, and coffee are a no-go. So are colored fruit juices and alcoholic beverages. You should also avoid soy sauce, chocolate, nearly every fruit (banana is okay), tomato-based sauces, etc. It’s impossible to come up with an exhaustive list, so here’s a good rule of thumb,
*** If it would stain your nice white shirt, don’t eat or drink it. ***
You should always avoid very oily foods. While grease isn’t necessarily colored, it can still stain your teeth.
Finally, be very careful with hot and cold food and drinks. These won’t necessarily stain your teeth but they may be sensitive for a day or two. For some of us hot or cold food or drinks could really hurt.
Foods to Eat After Your Teeth Whitening Procedure
We recommend a "white diet" after whitening your teeth. Yes, it’s going to be a bit bland and boring, just remember that it’s only for one day. You’ll be glad you stuck it through when you realize your new white smile is going to last longer.
You may feel free to consume cereal that isn’t brightly colored, pasta that is coated with a white sauce or is plain, white wine (not rose), clear sodas, plain chicken, potatoes, baked or poached white fish.
To help you with your post whitening aftercare, here’s a list of foods you can eat. Consider stocking up beforehand.
Foods You Can Eat After Whitening Your Teeth
- White Rice
- White Pasta (Not dyed or made from colored vegetables)
- White Onions
- White Cheese
- Skinless Poultry
- Egg Whites
- White Bread With No Crust
- Rice Krispies
- Potatoes That Have Been Peeled
- Low or Nonfat White Yogurt (Avoid colored or fruit on the bottom)
- White Fish
Beverages You Can Drink After Tooth Bleaching
- Lemonade (Not pink or with other fruits)
- Sparkling Water
- Still Water
- Skim Milk (Avoid whole or 2%)
- Cocktails made with clear alcohol and mixers
- Coconut Water (Avoid coconut milk)