What to Eat & Avoid After Teeth Whitening? (+Tips)

Teeth whitening is a great way to improve your smile and boost your confidence instantly! 

If you’ve just had teeth whitening treatment, you’ll want to ensure you get the best possible results from the procedure – which means paying attention to your diet. 

The foods you eat after teeth whitening can massively impact how successful the procedure is, as well as how long your results last. 

In this article, we cover everything you need to know to maintain your sparkling white smile. From the best food to support teeth whitening to the foods most likely to stain, we’ve got you covered!

It’s easy to accidentally eat the wrong thing and risk compromising your results, with acidic, sugary, and crunchy foods all on our list of what to avoid. We take an in-depth look at:

  • What to eat after teeth whitening
  • What to avoid after teeth whitening
  • Our top tips for maintaining your beautiful white smile.

Let’s get into it!

Foods To Eat After Teeth Whitening

After teeth whitening, you need to focus on foods that will help you maintain the whiteness of your smile

Although there are many foods to avoid, don’t panic – you won’t need to starve! There are plenty of filling, healthy foods you can eat after a teeth whitening procedure that won’t compromise your whitening results. 

Plain yogurt

After a whitening procedure, your teeth might feel a little sensitive. Plain yogurt is perfect; its smooth texture is soothing and won’t irritate your teeth. 

Yogurt is also high in calcium, which is known to keep the tooth enamel strong and healthy. 

Soft fruits (e.g., bananas, berries)

Soft, nonacidic fruits are less likely to hurt sensitive teeth, which makes them ideal for post-whitening. 

Focus on paler-colored berries, like strawberries, as dark-colored berries can cause staining. Berries are also packed with vitamins and minerals, which are great for your gum health

Strawberries have been suggested as a natural teeth-whitening remedy due to their high vitamin C content and malic acid. Watermelon has more malic acid than strawberries. The malic acid could play a role in lightening your teeth and promoting saliva production.

Scrambled or soft-boiled eggs

Eggs are soft, nonacidic, and non-staining – the ideal post-whitening food. They won’t irritate sensitive teeth, and they are full of Vitamin D, which keeps your teeth strong and healthy. 

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are also soft and nonacidic, with a smooth texture that feels soothing on sensitive, newly whitened teeth. They’re also non-pigmented, meaning there is no risk of staining. Mashed potatoes also are an excellent source of carbohydrates and potassium, and can be enjoyed without staining and irritating your mouth. 

Steamed or boiled vegetables

When your teeth have undergone a whitening procedure, you want to focus on foods that are non-abrasive and low in pigment. 

Steamed or boiled vegetables are perfect, because of their soft texture; they are also a low risk of staining. 

Rice

Rice is soft, easy to chew, and doesn’t risk staining. It’s a great carbohydrate option for those who have just undergone tooth whitening. 

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is soft and mushy, ideal for sensitive teeth. Whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal have also been shown to be beneficial for gum health!

Cottage cheese

Similar to yogurt, cottage cheese is high in calcium, which is great for oral health. It also has a soft, easy-to-eat texture and is lacking in staining pigments.

Pudding

When your mouth is feeling a little sensitive, pudding is the perfect option. Just make sure you go for a light-colored variety to reduce the risk of staining. 

Smoothies (without berries or dark-colored ingredients)

Light-colored smoothies are perfect when you’ve undergone any dental procedure. They’re filling, nutritious, and don’t risk stains on your teeth. 

Make sure you avoid berries or other highly pigmented fruits when choosing your ingredients!

Water

Water is probably the safest choice of all post-tooth whitening. It is essential for hydration and also works to wash away any potential staining foods, ensuring your whitening procedure has the best possible results. 

Milk

Milk might just be the perfect post-whitening drink. High in calcium, it is also non-pigmented and soothing on teeth - the ideal choice. The addition of milk to tea significantly reduces the tea's ability to stain teeth. Casein was determined to be the component of milk that is responsible for preventing tea-induced staining of teeth to a similar order of magnitude that can be obtained by vital bleaching treatments.

Foods to avoid after teeth whitening

After teeth whitening, your number one goal is to prolong the effects of the procedure. Many foods can stain or cause damage to newly whitened teeth, particularly just after the procedure has been completed. 

You’ll want to avoid foods that cause discoloration, as well as foods that are known to harm tooth enamel and contribute to tooth sensitivity. 

Being aware of which foods to avoid will help you make informed decisions and keep your teeth looking their sparkling best!

Acidic Food

Acidic food is known to be damaging to the tooth enamel. Foods that are high in acid can soften tooth enamel and increase the risk of your newly whitened teeth getting stained. Acid can also increase tooth sensitivity.

  • Citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, lemons): Citrus fruits are particularly high in acid, which can erode enamel

  • Tomatoes: Both fresh and cooked tomatoes should be avoided due to acidity levels

  • Vinegar-based foods (e.g., pickles): Pickles tend to be high in both acid and sugar, making them a double no-no post-whitening

  • Sodas (carbonated and high in acid): Regular sodas and diet sodas are both high in acid, which both damages enamel and increases sensitivity post-whitening. 
  • Sugary Foods

    Just like acidic food, sugary foods are known to weaken tooth enamel. This can not only affect your whitening results, but it can also increase your risk of cavities and lead to tooth decay!

  • Candy: Candy is very high in sugar, which weakens enamel and leads to tooth decay

  • Cookies: Cookies tend to be high in sugar, which increases mouth bacteria and damages enamel

  • Ice cream: The calcium content of ice cream is negated by its high sugar content - avoid post-whitening

  • Sugary cereals: Most cereals, even ones marketed as healthy, are high in enamel-damaging sugar
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  • Sugary beverages (e.g., fruit juices, energy drinks): Sugar drinks can damage enamel, and darker-colored ones can also contribute to staining.

  • Chocolates: You should avoid any kind of chocolate, especially dark chocolate and coffee-flavored foods, as they are a potent cause of tooth discoloration.
  • Dark-Colored Beverages

    Dark-colored beverages contain high levels of pigment, which are known for their staining properties.

    Drinking large amounts of beverages such as coffee can erode tooth enamel and lead to discoloration. If you have to drink dark beverages after having your teeth whitened, make sure you always use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.

  • Coffee: This is a tough one for anyone who needs coffee to wake up, but post-whitening, try to avoid it! The dark pigment can significantly stain teeth
  • Tea (black and herbal): Black tea, green tea, and herbal tea all contain tannins, which can stain and discolor whitened teeth
  • Red wine: Red wine has high levels of tannins which can stain teeth. It’s also highly acidic, which can damage enamel
  • Cola: Cola also has the triple whammy of staining pigment, high sugar content, and high acid content. Avoid after whitening at all costs!
  • Dark-colored fruit juices (e.g., grape juice): Dark juices, like grape juice, have strong pigments that can stain your teeth.
  • Hard or Crunchy Food

    Hard and crunchy food can be abrasive, which is damaging to the tooth enamel. The enamel is more vulnerable immediately after a whitening procedure, so it’s especially important to avoid these foods during this time!

  • Nuts: Because the enamel of newly whitened teeth is softer, hard nuts can chip or damage the enamel
  • Hard candies: Hard candies can not only chip teeth, but the high sugar content can cause decay
  • Chips: Chips are not only crunchy and have the potential to chip teeth, but they’re also prone to getting stuck between the teeth and causing decay
  • Popcorn: Popcorn kernels can be hard enough to chip teeth - best to avoid post-whitening. 
  • Sticky Food

    Sticky foods usually contain large amounts of sugar, which is known to increase bacteria in our mouths and damage tooth enamel. 

    It’s also risky to your teeth due to how slow sticky foods are to dissolve; it means that the food coats the teeth and sits on the enamel for longer, encouraging bacteria to damage the enamel. 

  • Caramel: Caramel tends to cling to the surface of your teeth, promoting tooth decay
  • Taffy: Taffy is extremely sticky, and can increase the risk of decay and even dislodge fillings and other dental work
  • Gummy candies: Gummy candies can cause decay thanks to their stickiness, and their bright pigments can lead to staining. Best to avoid!
  • Tips for maintaining your white smile

    Once you've gone to the expense and effort of getting your teeth whitened, you want to maintain those results for as long as possible. 

    Through good oral hygiene and healthy habits, you can prioritize your oral health and ensure your teeth stay white for longer. 

    Quit smoking tobacco and related products. The tar from tobacco is very hard to remove, rendering your teeth whitening useless.

    Seek proper dental care. Teeth whitening causes dental crowns to lose strength, putting them at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Remember that root canals and dental implants cost way more than professional teeth whitening procedures.

    Use a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash

    Using a whitening toothpaste or mouthwash can help to prolong the effects of a tooth whitening procedure. 

    Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains and also prevents new stains from sticking to the enamel of your teeth. 

    Boka’s range of toothpaste all contain n-Ha (nano-hydroxyapatite), a fluoride-free ingredient that helps remineralize teeth, removes surface stains, and whitens the teeth. 

    This miracle ingredient is safe for sensitive teeth and biomimics natural tooth composition, supporting and promoting dental health. 

    Brush and floss your teeth twice a day

    Brushing and flossing regularly is a great way to maintain the whiteness of your teeth after a whitening treatment. Maintain dental hygiene at home by brushing 2-3 times daily, flossing after brushing, and watching what you eat.

    It is not only an excellent habit to prevent cavities, but it also prevents stains from sticking to your teeth – keeping them looking sparkling white for longer! 

    Boka toothbrushes are a great option, with activated charcoal bristles delivering a gentle yet deep clean. 

    This is ideal combined with Boka floss, which comes in a variety of flavors and ensures a deep cleaning in between your teeth. 

    Limit your intake of foods and drinks that can stain your teeth

    After a tooth whitening procedure, avoiding foods and drinks that can stain your teeth is key to maintaining your results. 

    Avoid staining drinks and foods, particularly things like red wine, tea, and cola, to avoid staining newly whitened teeth. 

    Use a straw for dark beverages

    Drinking sugary beverages through a straw has been shown to reduce enamel erosion

    Because straws reduce direct contact between your teeth and staining liquids, they can also minimize staining. 

    A straw directs the liquid to the back of your mouth rather than directly over your teeth, limiting your teeth’s exposure to staining liquids. 

    This can extend the length of your teeth whitening results, maintaining a bright, white smile for longer. 

    Drink water after eating or drinking staining foods

    When you drink water immediately after eating or drinking staining foods, it significantly reduces the contact time the staining foods have with your teeth. 

    Pigments from dark fruits, wine, or coffee will be unable to sit on your teeth. Drinking water also helps to remove acidic foods from your teeth that can damage the tooth enamel, such as sodas and citrus juices. 

    Regular dental check-ups

    After a tooth whitening session, regular dental checkups are key. Your dentist will be able to monitor your whitening progress and keep track of your overall oral health. 

    They’ll also be able to catch any issues early and remove plaque, which is a key step in teeth whitening!

    Removing plaque makes whitening treatments more effective, and is also a good way to get rid of any surface stains. 

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