After investing in teeth whitening, most patients want to know how they can keep their smiles beautiful and bright for as long as possible. There’s a critical two to three day period immediately after teeth whitening in which your teeth are particularly susceptible to stains; during this time, you’ll need to forego any foods that can cause discoloration. In the long-term, you’ll be able to reintroduce foods and beverages that stain, but with a few precautions. Here’s what you should know.
What to Eat Immediately After Teeth Whitening
Before we get to the foods you can eat, let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat. Any food or drink that is dark or brightly colored should be off-limits. This means no coffee, no tea, and no red wine; skip berries, tomato sauce, and snacks and chips that are made with powdery bright orange cheese. Teeth whitening may also make your teeth sensitive for a period of time, so avoiding very cold foods and acidic foods and beverages can help with this, as these items can be irritating.
Teeth whitening treatments temporarily make your tooth enamel more porous, which is how the whitening gel penetrates to eliminate stains. This increased porosity lasts for two to three days, so during this time, eat foods that are not highly pigmented—think white bread, tortillas, white potatoes (skin removed), rice, turkey, chicken, tofu, chickpeas, plain or vanilla yogurt, pasta tossed in olive oil, bananas, cauliflower, apples, etc. While normally we want you to eat a rainbow of foods for optimal health, for these few days you should eat a fairly white, colorless diet.
How to Keep Your Teeth White After Bleaching Treatments
You don’t have to change your diet beyond those first few days after your teeth whitening procedure, but you should be aware that all of those foods we ask you to avoid immediately after your treatment can also stain your teeth later—it’s just a slower process once your teeth are no longer porous and able to quickly absorb colors.
Should you stop eating blackberries and pizza and cheddar popcorn altogether? No! That’s simply not realistic for most people. Instead, do your best to brush after eating foods that can stain and if you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth with water. When drinking a beverage that stains, using a straw can help you avoid contact with your teeth.
Because teeth whitening isn’t permanent, you will eventually notice your teeth aren’t quite as bright as they were immediately after your treatment, but following these guidelines will help extend your results. When you notice some minor discoloration returning, you can use an at-home touch-up kit; this can also keep your teeth brighter longer, which means more time until your next teeth bleaching treatment.
Learn More About Teeth Whitening Aftercare
Are you considering professional teeth whitening treatments? Contact us today at 212-532-1400 to schedule an appointment for a consultation. We’ll let you know if teeth whitening is right for you and explain how to best maintain your results.