A bright, healthy smile is always a beautiful thing to see; it’s a confidence boost for whoever has those pearly whites, too. That’s why more people than ever are turning to teeth whitening strips and bleaching procedures to get a gorgeous smile. Yet, you also need to be conscious of the aftercare so that your white teeth stay whiter for longer. So, can you eat after whitening strips?
While professional whitening requires you to wait at least 48 hours before eating anything pigmented or acidic, you aren’t required to go on a fast to enjoy white teeth. Yes, you can eat after using whitening strips. It’s what you can eat that is far more important!
How Soon Can You Eat After Whitening Strips?
You can eat shortly after using whitening strips or coming home from a professional whitening procedure. However, you can’t eat anything with color or acid for at least 2 hours, though it’s recommended you wait much longer.
This is because the chemicals used to lift the stains from your teeth open up pores that could lead to easier staining.
How Long Do Teeth Pores Stay Open After Whitening?
After you use teeth whitening strips or come home from a whitening procedure at the dentist office, you should wait before you consume something with dark pigment.
This is because the teeth become porous after bleaching; it takes at least a few hours for those pores to seal up again. If you do a teeth whitening session in the morning, you should avoid foods that stain the teeth until later in the evening.
What Food Can You Eat After Teeth Whitening?
If your stomach is rumbling after using whitening strips, it’s important that you choose your food wisely. While you should eat, you can’t just have whatever you’re craving. Dentists have come up with a recommended diet to assist with whitening aftercare. The White Diet, as it’s been named, consists of safe foods and beverages that won’t stain or damage your teeth.
In order to keep your bright smile looking lovely, you should commit to the White Diet for at least a few days. That will preserve the effects of the whitening procedure for longer.
List of Safe Foods to Eat After Whitening
- Fish (such as tuna, haddock, tilapia, and flounder)
- Breads without molasses or coloring in the ingredients
- White and brown rice
- Semolina or egg pasta with cream- or butter-based sauces
- Yogurt without food coloring
- White corn
- White pizza
- Egg whites
- Oatmeal or porridge
- White tea
- Apple juice
As you can see, the White Diet is full of easily digestible foods that lack pigmentation and acid. While your meals after using whitening strips might be a bit boring, you can most certainly have a hearty meal.
For example, if it’s nearing lunchtime, you can make a sandwich with cheese, grilled chicken or a fried fillet of fish, and a side of regular potato chips or potato salad.
What Foods Should I Avoid After Whitening Strips?
Can you eat after whitening strips? Yes. Can you eat a varied diet and munch on candy? Absolutely not.
As mentioned above, your teeth get porous and will stain easily after whitening procedures, meaning you have to be extra cautious for a day or two.
The main rule of thumb is avoiding colorful foods. Anything that could dye clothing should be avoided!
If you accidentally eat something on the list below, don’t panic! Wash out your mouth with water and gently brush your teeth to remove any residue. Don’t let the food sit on your teeth.
List of Unsafe Foods After Whitening Teeth
- Dark chocolate and colorful candy
- Jams and jellies
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
- Orange juice
- Pineapple and pineapple juice
- Red meats
- Tomato sauce
- Red wine
- Black tea
- Dark beer
- Soy sauce
- Hot sauce
- Red meat
- Black beans
- Spices (including turmeric, curry, cinnamon, paprika, ground mustard and other brightly colored varieties)
- Vinegar (including vinaigrette dressings)
Ideally, you also want to stay away from carbonated beverages, as they are high in sugar and can affect tooth enamel. If you smoke or chew tobacco, purchase some nicotine patches to use during the waiting period, as tobacco will also negatively affect the outcome of your whitening session.
Can I Drink Water After Whitening Strips?
Yes, you can drink water after using whitening strips.
You want to be careful about adding any fruits or infusions that might add coloring to the water, however. As long as you are drinking plain water without any acids or sugars or coloring added, you should be perfectly fine. In fact, keeping your gums hydrated is an important part of dental health.
If you don’t like drinking plain water, you can make yourself some plain white tea. Be sure to avoid herbal and white teas that have any kind of pigmentation, especially from berries or spices, as these could stain your newly whitened teeth.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Drink Coffee After Teeth Whitening?
Going without caffeine can be difficult, but if you want to preserve the whitening effects of your strips, you’re going to have to wait at least 2 hours.
Dentists generally recommend holding off any liquid that can stain your teeth, like coffee, for 48 hours after a whitening procedure.
Keep Your Smile White
Can you eat after whitening strips? As long as the foods don’t have food coloring, pigment, or acid, you should be fine to eat when you want. Use the White Diet to outline your meals for the day, and avoid any of the items on the unsafe list for at least a couple of hours. Give your teeth time to heal, and you’ll keep your smile bright for longer.