When you have decided to talk to your dentist and schedule a teeth whitening procedure, you want the results to last. But eating after teeth whitening is a tricky business. What you consume after your treatment can affect how well the whitening process works. 

At Serene Dental in Irvine, our dentists will answer all of your questions. But if you know what foods are friendly – and which ones aren’t! – you can plan for the crucial time after the procedure. 

Here is everything you need to know about what to eat after teeth whitening treatment is done and why.

Why You Need to Watch What You Eat

Knowing how the whitening procedure works helps you to understand why it’s necessary to be careful with what you eat. 

When you have a professional whitening treatment, the first 48 hours directly following it will impact your results. You’ll see significant improvement right away, but without proper care during that time, you could lose all of the benefits.

During the whitening process, your teeth enamel is expanded to become porous. This is important for the bleach. It also makes your teeth susceptible to any brightly colored or potentially staining foods. While your teeth are so porous, they can easily absorb the pigments from the food you eat. 

Keep this in mind as you shop and plan for your meals or choose from the menu at your favorite restaurant. Until the 48-hour mark has passed and you’ve been cleared for a regular diet, stick to friendly foods like the ones in this list.

Friendly Foods for Ultimate Whitening Results

If you use the common sense rule that the lighter the food is, the better for your whitening results, you’ll be fine. We’ve provided a comprehensive menu of what to eat after teeth whitening occurs to help guide you.

Consider these foods for your breakfast meals: 

  • Eggs (preferably scrambled, so the bright yolk pigments aren’t as harsh on your teeth)
  • A bagel (cream cheese or butter is fine, but avoid jams and jellies)
  • Non-sugary cereals with any milk
  • Plain or vanilla-flavored yogurts
  • Banana smoothies

Lunches can include a broad menu of options. Remember these tips as you prepare your afternoon meals:

  • Enjoy any basic sandwiches, while still avoiding jams and jellies, mustard, and any brightly color condiments.
  • If you’re eating cheese, be sure to choose only white options.
  • Pasta and pizza are fine but stick to creamy white sauces instead of marinara and other reds.

When it’s time for dinner, meat may be on the menu, but be conscious about your servings. Stick to the white diet after teeth whitening with foods like these:

  • Stick to poultry for your main meat or white fish. Avoid red meats.
  • Potatoes are fine, as long as they’re basic whites. Stay away from sweet potatoes and au gratin style options.
  • Rice and beans are popular meals, but avoid black beans or any highly pigmented versions.
  • If you’re craving a salad, stick to potato and macaroni types. The healthy, lettuce options will have to wait until your 48-hour time period is up.

Snacking after teeth whitening, if you know what to eat, is perfectly fine, as long as you stick to foods like:

  • Original potato chips (white-colored dip is also fine)
  • Saltine crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Fruits (apples, bananas, pears, and other light-colored, low acid options) 
  • White cheese sticks

Everything you put in your mouth will have an effect on your teeth whitening results. This includes what you drink, so monitor your beverages as well. These liquids are approved for consumption after your procedure:

  • Water
  • Milk
  • Apple Juice
  • Green tea
  • Clear sodas (Sprite, Sierra Mist)

Your food intake doesn’t have to be severely limited. As you can see, there’s still a vast selection of foods you can eat, and waiting 48 hours for your favorites just adds to the anticipation and makes everything taste better later!

Still, Be Sure You Avoid Certain Foods Completely

The “white foods list” is helpful to know what foods to eat after teeth whitening procedures. But some foods need their own list entirely. 

These are foods that can destroy all of the progress you and your dentist have made on your new, sparkly white teeth.

Whatever you do, no matter how tempted you are, stay away from these foods that stain teeth after whitening:

  • Red pistachios
  • Chocolate of any type
  • Caramels
  • Coffee, especially black coffee
  • Black teas
  • Soy sauce and food made with soy sauce as an ingredient
  • Berries, particularly when they’re freshly ripe
  • Marinara and tomato sauce, on pasta, pizza, and anything else
  • Spices like turmeric, paprika, curry, cinnamon, and other brightly colored varieties
  • Red wines
  • Red vinegarette, balsamic dressing, and anything with red vinegar
  • Beer, particularly dark beers
  • Sweet and unsweet tea
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products

As a general rule, if it can stain your fingers, it can stain your teeth. Do your best to remember these foods to avoid after teeth whitening for the first two days.

By sticking to the white diet after your teeth whitening, and following your dentist’s teeth whitening aftercare rules, you’ll get maximum results!