Teeth whitening is a simple procedure which can give dramatic effects to almost any smile. Teeth whitening can create a beautiful, white smile in a very short period of time. That white smile will not only improve your appearance but can also help improve our outlook on our lives. Following teeth whitening, patients can help maintain that new whiter smile by avoiding certain foods that can dull that smile.

Teeth whitening is the most often requested cosmetic dentistry procedure. In fact over 100 million Americans have whitened their teeth. Each year Americans spend more than $1.4 billion on over-the-counter teeth whitening products in pursuit of a brighter smile.

Tooth whitening has proven to be a safe, noninvasive, and economical way to dramatically change one’s appearance when compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, such as porcelain veneers, dental bonding or dental crowns. Below are a list of some foods to avoid to maintain a bright, white smile after teeth whitening.

Foods To Avoid Following Teeth Whitening

-Staining Foods (Foods With Color). Following a teeth whitening session, several foods and ingredients are particularly likely to stain your new smile. Foods to watch out for include dark chocolate (white chocolate is fine), dark soups, stews, beets, tomato sauces, dark marinades, soy sauce, strawberries, and blueberries. Certain ethnic foods like Spanish and Indian cuisine may also be bad for your new smile. This is because those cuisines tend to incorporate lots of tomato sauces and curry.

-Dark Beverages. The preferred drinks to maintain a white smile are the clearer ones like water and milk. Various colored drinks can leave staining on your newly whitened smile. The drinks to avoid include coffee, tea and red wine, as well as dark soft drinks and sports drinks (Gatorade). Colored juices can also stain our teeth, like grape juice, tomato juice, green juices (like Kale) and cranberry juice. A helpful tip when drinking darker beverages is to use a straw so the liquids have less contact with our teeth thus reducing the staining opportunity.

-Acidic Foods. The teeth whitening procedure has one definite side effect for some patients. It may leave your teeth temporarily sensitive to acidic foods and drinks. This can cause you pain and discomfort while eating. So if you are feeling sensitivity try to avoid acidic foods and drink. These can include citrus drinks and soft drinks. Luckily, the sensitivity is usually very short lived (for most between 48 and 72 hours) and you can go back to enjoying your favorite foods very quickly.

-Cold Drinks And Food. Similar to being sensitive to acidic food and drink, our teeth can also be sensitive to extreme cold temperatures for a short period following teeth whitening. If you are experiencing sensitivity you should avoid cold drinks (like ice water), ice cream, and other frozen desserts. Try to eat items at room temperature until sensitivity subsides to avoid discomfort.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, teeth whitening is a safe and very effective procedure to give you a brighter, whiter smile. There are some minor drawbacks but for almost all patients they are very short lived. If you are looking to liven up your smile, teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure you should consider. Talk to your dentist to see if teeth whitening the right dental procedure for your smile.