Teeth go through a lot over decades of use. Years of chewing and exposure can take their toll on your enamel, and your smile can acquire stains due to frequent consumption of many common foods and beverages. Thankfully, teeth whitening treatments can help many patients achieve a whiter, flashier smile that they can be proud of. While these treatments will not damage your enamel if administered by a dental professional, they will make your teeth more susceptible to staining for a few days afterward. Here are a few foods to avoid to keep your smile bright after teeth whitening.
Foods and Beverages Containing Lots of Acid
Acid is already one of the worst things for your enamel, but it becomes even more important to avoid it after having your teeth whitened. When your teeth are in a vulnerable, post-whitening state, acidic foods can be especially damaging to your enamel, potentially eroding more of this crucial layer away and exposing more of the yellowish dentin underneath. Some notorious culprits include:
- Citrus fruits and their juices, including limes, lemons, grapefruits, and oranges.
- Pickled items such as sauerkraut or pickles.
- Processed meats like cold cuts or jerky.
Beverages of Dark Coloration
Many beverages are heavy on pigments and dyes that can become more easily bonded to your enamel after teeth whitening. This can result in yellowish or purplish discoloration developing. A few drinks to delay enjoying after whitening include coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, grape juice, and red wine. If you cannot resist the allure of your favorite dark beverage after your treatment, always drink it through a straw and afterward take care to immediately and thoroughly rinse your mouth out with water.
Part of the appeal of many sauces is their rich coloration, but many of them can leave stains in your enamel if you enjoy them too soon after whitening. While dark sauces may be a delicious way to enhance many meals, tomato sauces, barbeque sauces, tomato sauces, mustard, and the like can be hazardous to your newly whitened teeth. Take care to wait a few days before you dress up your sandwich with any of them.
An excellent rule of thumb to remember after teeth whitening is that it can stain your teeth if it can stain a white shirt. If you can stand to stay away from these stain-causing foods and beverages for a few days after whitening, you can ensure your smile will stay white and bright for a long time.
About the Author
Dr. W. Keith deJong earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry in 1980 and has operated his private practice for over thirty years. He is proud to serve as a member of the New Orleans Dental Association, the Louisiana Dental Association, and the American Dental Association. His office in River Ridge, LA offers general, restorative, emergency, and cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening. For more information on keeping your teeth white after teeth whitening, contact his office online or dial (504) 738-5171.