Are you considering getting your teeth whitened? If so, then you may be wondering what to eat after the procedure. While your new priority might be to take care of your newly whitened teeth, don’t forget that you still need to maintain a nutritious diet. Whether it’s using teeth whitening kits at home, a natural teeth whitening option, or in-office treatments, the food you eat after any teeth whitening procedure can have a lasting effect on your results.
The white diet is the perfect way to keep your teeth white while still enjoying delicious meals. In this article, we will explain what foods you can eat after teeth whitening and provide some tips on other ways you can keep your teeth white.
How Does The White Diet Work?
The main goal of the white diet is to protect your teeth from staining and discoloration - two things you certainly don’t want after whitening. Teeth whitening changes your enamel, causing it to lose essential components such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. It also results in more porous and vulnerable teeth as the dentin layer is exposed to the bleaching solution.
The white diet focuses on eating a variety of foods that are low in acid, sugar, and tannins - all things that can cause discoloration. Foods on this diet are specifically chosen to help protect and rebuild your enamel and maintain your whitened teeth.
You can also expect light-colored foods that won’t cause stains on your teeth, as well as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, lean proteins, and low-sugar grains like quinoa or millet.
Best Foods To Eat After Teeth Whitening
No matter whether it’s at-home teeth whitening or in-office whitening, the same foods should be included in your post-whitening diet. But it’s not just about keeping your teeth white, it’s also about replenishing the minerals your teeth lost during the whitening process. As well, you want to eat things that foster a linear healing process.
This section will go through some of the best white diet foods out there - be sure to stock up on these!
Rice, Bread & Pasta
If you’re looking for a light-colored, good source of energy, then rice, bread, and pasta are great choices. Whole wheat or grain varieties of these foods contain important vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and fiber. They’re a versatile food that you can pair with other delicious ingredients on this list, such as white cheeses, egg whites, and fresh vegetables.
White Cheese & Yogurt
Calcium-rich dairy products like white cheese and yogurt are a great way to replenish the calcium that may have been lost during teeth whitening. They also contain other essential minerals such as phosphorus and vitamins A, D, and B12.
Dairy products are one of the best categories of white foods to eat after teeth whitening. A lack of calcium and phosphorus can lead to weaker and less dense teeth and lead to other health complications, so consuming these items is a good solution. Casein and whey, special proteins that can rebuild tooth enamel, are also found in dairy.
Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an integral part of any healthy diet, but they’re especially beneficial for teeth whitening. They contain a variety of minerals and vitamins that help to strengthen your enamel. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fiber helps keep your teeth and gums clean.
Plus, fruits and veggies come in a wide range of colors so you can mix up the shades on your plate while still keeping it tooth-friendly. Some great options include cauliflower, cucumber, apples, bananas, pears, and carrots.
Onions are an often overlooked teeth whitening food, but they’re actually quite beneficial. Their sulfur compounds help to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth thanks to their antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. They’re also laden with vitamin C, folate, and potassium that protect gums and keep your entire mouth healthy. So not only are you keeping your teeth white, you’re keeping them clean to avoid complications.
Potatoes and oral health go together like peanut butter and jelly. Not only are they rich in vitamins and minerals, but they also contain starch which helps to absorb bacteria that can cause plaque buildup on your teeth.
Sweet potatoes take things a little further with their vitamin A content, key in maintaining the mucous membranes that line your mouth. It also serves to maintain keratin, which aids in the formation of tooth enamel.
While egg yolks are a great source of protein, minerals, and vitamins, they can potentially stain your teeth. To avoid this, switch to egg whites for post-teeth whitening meals. Egg whites are full of protein and don’t contain any of the staining agents found in egg yolks.
Porridge and oats are an ideal carbohydrate source and a suitable breakfast that can help boost your energy levels. Being a complex carb, they offer slow-releasing energy that can sustain you throughout the day. But what do they do for teeth? They contain vitamins A, B2 (riboflavin), E, K, and minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and iron.
Lack of vitamin B2 has been associated with gingivitis, especially in females and those aged 40-59 - so porridge can help with this. And when it comes to vitamin E, it can act as a preventative substance against dental erosion.
Non-Sugary Cereals with Any Milk
Cereals are packed with vitamins and minerals that help keep your teeth healthy. The best cereals to choose from are those that don’t contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners, such as oatmeal, bran flakes, and wheat-based cereals.
Any type of milk – such as almond, soy, or cow’s milk – can be added to your cereal for an extra boost of calcium. The milk-derived protein casein has been proven to reduce tissue loss and prevent enamel erosion.
Other Ways To Protect Your Teeth After Whitening
Your diet is just one of the many lifestyle factors and habits that can help keep your teeth looking whiter for longer. Here are some other things to keep in mind after you get your teeth whitened:
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your teeth and can counteract your whitening results. Tar and chemicals in cigarettes are the main cause of the discoloration, working its way and embedding into the enamel. If you’re serious about maintaining a bright white smile, it’s best to quit smoking or using any other tobacco products as soon as possible.
While research has found that there are fewer of the chemicals found in traditional cigarettes in vapes, it’s said that there are nearly 2000 chemicals in vapes that are yet to be identified. This complex mix of chemicals, along with the substances found in regular cigarettes, can cause discoloration and damage to your teeth, so don’t vape after whitening.
Coffee and white teeth don't mix. The tannins in coffee and tea can stain your teeth, so make sure to cut back on these beverages. If caffeine is a big part of your daily routine, you can try brushing your teeth right after drinking or use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. Coffee alternatives like matcha lattes or light-colored teas are a good substitute.
Get Regular Dental Checkups
Regular dental checkups are essential to maintaining a healthy and white smile. A dentist or hygienist can help keep your teeth clean and free of any discoloration. They can also spot any underlying problems that may be causing discoloration, such as cavities or gum disease. Ultimately, going to the dentist is the best way to improve your smile!
Get Regular Teeth Cleaning
In addition to regular checkups, dental cleaning can help keep your teeth looking bright and white. Professional dental cleaning removes any built-up plaque or tartar on your teeth that can cause discoloration.
When plaque is around for too long, it’ll harden and turn into tartar. Not only will you have to deal with the stains on your enamel, but the yellow or brown colored tartar along your gum line. The best way to prevent this from happening is to brush and floss twice a day and get regular teeth cleanings every 6 months or so.
Have more questions before you put the white diet into practice? Here are some FAQs that might interest you.
Can You Eat Chips After Teeth Whitening?
Yes, you can eat chips after teeth whitening. However, chips are high in starch, and can stick to your gums and teeth, eventually turning into sugar. These particles feed the bacteria in plaque and may not be good for oral health overall. It is best to limit or avoid these types of snacks altogether, but they likely won’t affect the color of your teeth.
How Long After Teeth Whitening Can I Eat Normally?
It is recommended that you wait at least a few days after teeth whitening before eating normally. During this time, you should stick to the white diet and avoid any foods or beverages that may stain your teeth. One study showed that those who drank coffee or wine after 24 to 72 hours after the procedure undid their whitening results.
Can I Eat 1 Hour After Teeth Whitening?
Eating an hour after teeth whitening is okay, but it’s advised that you avoid consuming any foods or drinks that are colored or contain a lot of sugar for at least the first 24 - 72 hours.
Can You Drink Water Immediately After Teeth Whitening?
Water is the best thing that you can drink after teeth whitening. It helps to flush out any remaining peroxide from your mouth, preventing further irritation and sensitivity.
Can I Eat A Burger After Teeth Whitening?
The components of a burger itself are usually fine to eat, however, the buns can be a problem. The buns contain refined carbs, which can cause issues with plaque. Additionally, if you opt for condiments like ketchup or mayonnaise, they also contain sugars which can cause staining.
The smartest choice would be making or ordering a burger without a bun and skipping the condiments. Or, alternatively, brush your teeth immediately after eating something like a burger in order to prevent plaque and tartar buildup that could lead to staining.
Can I Eat Bread And Butter After Teeth Whitening?
Bread and butter won’t cause any staining, but as mentioned, greasy or starchy foods are not ideal for a white diet. Instead, opt for whole grain breads or toast with low-fat spreads such as hummus or avocado.
Can I Drink Protein After Teeth Whitening?
Protein shakes are a great way to get the nutrition you need without affecting your freshly whitened teeth. Note that some protein shakes have added sugars or artificial sweeteners that might not be good for your mouth overall.
Can I Eat Pasta With Butter After Teeth Whitening?
Pasta with butter can be compared to bread and butter mentioned above, but the texture of pasta is a lot less adhesive than bread. It is possible to eat pasta with butter, but it’s best to opt for low-fat sauces or pesto instead.
The Bottom Line
While you don’t want to go overboard and never eat certain foods again, being mindful of what you eat after a teeth whitening procedure can help keep your teeth looking their best. The white diet is a great way to ensure that you’re getting the proper nutrition while avoiding foods that could stain or damage your newly whitened smile.
So if you’re considering getting your teeth whitened, consider following the white diet for optimal results!