Teeth whitening treatments are a popular option today and can help you achieve a brighter smile and boost your overall confidence at the same time. From take-home tray methods to professional whitening at the dentist’s office, you can even receive the results you want in less time.
Once you complete these treatments, however, there are things you’ll need to do to maintain those pearly whites, including in the immediate days that follow.
The whitening process itself leaves your teeth slightly more porous and affects the underlying dentin layer temporarily. As a result, when dyes and pigments found in certain food and beverages come into contact with those sensitive teeth, new discolorations and stains can form.
To avoid this from happening, stay away from the following ten foods and beverages for at least the first 48 hours after treatment.
1. Teas and Coffee
Teas and coffee both contain a substance called tannins. When these tannins build up, they can dramatically darken teeth. With your teeth becoming more porous following a professional whitening, these tannins can act faster in staining your teeth.
Avoid these beverages for a few days, but if you must indulge in one, do so by using a straw to limit the direct contact with your teeth. Rinse immediately afterward.
2. Red and White Wines
Wines can be harmful to both tooth color and enamel. Red wine, in particular, can cause staining or erosion due to its high acidity and dark pigment. White wine, although lighter, can also harm your newly whitened smile by further breaking down the enamel.
3. Dark Fruits or Vegetables
Dark fruits and vegetables are richly infused with pigments that can stain your teeth. For this reason, after teeth whitening treatment, avoid ones such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, carrots, purple cabbage, beets, and dark, leafy greens such as spinach.
4. Sugary Treats
Refined sugars found in treats such as cakes, cookies, candy, chocolate, or ice cream can cause more tooth decay, cavities, enamel erosion, and discoloration, especially when your teeth are sensitive following whitening.
5. Fizzy Soft Drinks
Due to the high amounts of sugar, color additives, and acidity, which can strip off tooth enamel and cause dark surface staining, you’ll need to avoid drinking carbonated, fizzy drinks for at least 48 hours after whitening.
6. Tomatoes and Tomato Sauces
Tomatoes, whether eaten alone or included in various sauces and dishes, are another specific food to avoid initially. With a high acid content and natural dark coloring, tomatoes and tomato-infused sauces can seriously damage and stain your newly whitened teeth.
7. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, including grapefruit, lemons, limes, and oranges, are highly acidic and can lead to further weakening of tooth enamel. In turn, this can increase the level of sensitivity to cold or hot foods and also make teeth more vulnerable to staining.
8. Fruit and Vegetable Juices
Fruit juices, and some vegetable juices, contain high acidity and can negatively affect tooth enamel and cause staining or discoloration. Avoid all dark colored fruit or vegetable juices such as grape juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, and carrot juice.
9. Dark Colored Sauces and Condiments
Dark-colored sauces and condiments such as soy sauce, mustard, and ketchup need to be avoided. If in doubt whether a sauce or condiment fits within this category, consider whether or not it will stain a white t-shirt, and you will have your answer.
10. Foods with Colorants or Dyes
Foods that contain added colorants or dyes, whether natural or artificial, should also be avoided. These include sports drinks, popsicles, and many others. Most likely, you will easily identify these, but if something is questionable, read the ingredients on the label.
While this list of food and beverages to avoid may sound restrictive to many patients, in the end, your newly whitened teeth and your smile will greatly benefit.
Instead of consuming these ten, stick with foods like fish, chicken, tofu, rice, pasta, bread, white cheese, yogurt, and light-colored vegetables and fruits (such as potatoes, cauliflower, pears, bananas, and apples). You can think of this as the “white diet,” where all the foods are lighter in color. Also, drink plenty of water, replacing other beverages as often as possible.
After the initial 48 hours, it is suggested you continue to limit your exposure to the ten food and beverages listed above. Whenever you do eat or drink them, however, be sure to floss and brush your teeth as soon as possible to ensure you’re keeping new stains away.
To further ensure whiter teeth, schedule regular appointments for dental cleanings and exams, and keep your smile looking its best.
Explore Teeth Whitening Options with Smile Hilliard Today
When it comes to the creating and maintaining of your smile, teeth whitening options abound today. Here at Smile Hilliard, our team of professionals can help you choose the best one for your needs and assist you in maintaining your smile for years to come. We offer in-office whitening with Opalescence Boost, which gives immediate results in about an hour. We also offer take-home whitening kits through our Free Whitening For Life program! Find out more today by contacting our office and scheduling a consultation.