Foods To Avoid After Whitening Your Teeth
Foods To Avoid After Whitening Your Teeth

Teeth whitening treatments are popular and can help you achieve a brighter, whiter smile. Whether you’re having these treatments done in-office or at home, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind after your treatment. Learn more with Northern Virginia Orthodontics.

Foods to Avoid After Whitening Your Teeth 

Once you’ve started treatment for whitening teeth, there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain the pearly white smile you’ve created. The whitening process can leave teeth slightly more porous and can temporarily impact the underlying layer of dentin. As a result, when certain foods come into contact with teeth, new stains and discolorations can form. However, there are a few steps you can take to avoid this especially within the first 48 hours after treatment.

Top Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Avoid: Tea, Coffee and Dark-Colored Beverages

Both tea and coffee contain a substance called tannins. Over time, the buildup of these tannins can darken teeth. These drinks could be the cause of your tooth staining in the first place. Your teeth become more porous post-whitening, these tannins can soak in faster on the tooth surface and cause staining quickly. 

Sodas, even the clear ones, are something else to avoid. Sugar, acidity, and added colors can strip off tooth enamel and cause dark surface staining. If you must drink a soda, coffee, or tea after treatment, drink it through a straw and rinse your mouth immediately after. 

Top Alcoholic Beverages to Avoid: Wine

This includes both red and white wine! Red wine might sound a bit more obvious to avoid (just think about how your mouth looks after 1 glass even when you haven’t recently whitened!), but white wine should also be avoided as it can break down the enamel.

Top Foods to Avoid: Dark-Colored Fruits and Vegetables

A good rule to keep in mind is that “anything that can stain a white shirt can stain your teeth.” Dark fruits and vegetables are rich in pigments that can stain teeth. After teeth whitening, you’ll want to avoid: 

  • Blackberries 
  • Blueberries 
  • Raspberries 
  • Purple cabbage 
  • Grapes 
  • Carrots 
  • Spinach and other dark, leafy greens
  • Cherries 
  • Pomegranates 
  • Beets 

Top Foods to Avoid: Foods with Dyes

Foods that contain added dyes, no matter if they’re natural or artificial, should be avoided. When in doubt, consider our “white shirt rule.” This can include avoiding sports drinks, popsicles, and candy.

Top Foods to Avoid: Acidic Foods

This category is probably the biggest to avoid after a teeth whitening procedure. The bleach used in whitening can slightly weaken enamel. Acidic foods further weaken the enamel, and this can lead to many problems, including increased sensitivity. The top acidic foods to avoid are: 

  • Citrus fruits: including lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits 
  • Tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauces 
  • Pineapples 
  • Pickled foods: including sauerkraut and pickles 
  • Processed meats

Top Foods to Avoid: Dark Sauces & Condiments

The sauces and condiments can easily be overlooked. These sauces can stain teeth, especially when they are slightly more susceptible post-treatment. You’ll want to avoid soy sauce, ketchup (also acidic!), mustard, barbecue sauce, and more.

Your Journey to a Pearly White Smile Starts with Northern Virginia Orthodontics

While this list can seem like there’s not much left to enjoy, the general rule to keep in mind is following “the white diet.” Stick with fish, chicken, tofu, cauliflower, potatoes, pasta, white cheeses and yogurts, pears, bananas and apples. Also, keep in mind these “no-nos” are best avoided for the first 48 hours. After that, you can begin introducing them and taking care to rinse, brush, and floss after enjoying them. 

The first step to a confident smile is getting everything aligned. The team at Northern Virginia Orthodontics can talk you through your options to achieving the smile of your dreams. Request an appointment online today to get started.