Teeth whitening is an easy, effective way to attain the smile of your dreams. Enjoying the most benefit from the procedure takes a reasonable amount of care on your part, of course. This includes knowing what foods and beverages are okay to eat during the first 24 hours after treatment. Follow a few basic guidelines and you’ll enjoy maximum rewards in return.
Foods to Eat
A handy way to know what foods are safe to eat after whitening is to look at their color. If the food is white, then it’s probably fine. Here are some specific examples to use as a guide:
- White meats like skin-free chicken and turkey.
- White, unbreaded fish.
- White rice and pasta.
- White cheeses.
- White veggies like cauliflower and white onions.
- Egg whites.
- Peeled white potatoes.
- Skim milk.
- Coconut water.
- Plain tap water; bottled is okay as well.
- White bread, preferably without the crust.
- Plain yogurt.
Foods to Avoid
Your teeth will be extra sensitive for the first day or two after whitening. During this time it’s important to avoid any foods that may irritate them or cause them to stain. Examples include:
- Strongly colored beverages like red wine, coffee, cola, and tea.
- Dyed or strongly colored meats like beef, salami, and bologna.
- Condiments like ketchup, mustard, and soy sauce.
- All forms of chocolate.
- Fruit or vegetable juices, whether or not they contain added sugar.
An easy way to tell if a food or drink is safe for the post-whitening period is to ask yourself. “would this stain a white shirt?” If the answer is “yes,” then it’s best avoided for the first 24-48 hours after treatment.
Other Tips to Keep in Mind
Here are some other ways to keep your teeth looking their best during the post-whitening period:
- Avoid tobacco and vaping products for the first day or two. In fact, this might be the perfect time to start a smoke-free future.
- Limit alcohol consumption. This is important to avoid irritating your gums.
- Use a plain white brand of toothpaste. You should temporarily avoid mouthwash and dental rinse.
Keeping Your Teeth White Over the Long Term
The following suggestions can help your smile to stay brighter between whitening treatments:
- Follow the “2×2 rule” when it comes to brushing. This means brushing for a full two minutes at least twice a day, cleaning each tooth on all sides.
- Floss daily. You can also use an interdental toothbrush or water stream flosser if you prefer.
- Eat a sensible diet. This means enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods and minimizing consumption of sugars and simple starches.
- Drink plenty of water. Plain tap water is best, since it contains fluoride. If you dislike the taste of city water, then you can opt for bottled brands instead and get your fluoride from supplements, which are available online and at many local retailers.
Teeth whitening is a great way to help your teeth look their best. Use the tips in this post to get the most value from the investment and you’ll soon have lots of reason to smile.
About the Author
Dr. Angela Ruff has been helping people to enjoy better smiles for more than 30 years, since completing her DDS degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can reach her office online or by calling (910) 630-6199.