Teeth whitening is a fast, safe and effective way of getting better-looking teeth. However, to ensure the best possible results, some precautions have to be taken. Immediately after teeth whitening, teeth are more prone to staining, for up to a good 24 hours. This is true for both in-clinic and home whitening procedures. Not surprisingly, items that normally cause staining will be able to do their life’s work in that small, post-whitening window.
Here are some examples of things to avoid immediately after you’ve whitened your teeth. When in doubt, avoid anything that would ruin a crisp shirt.
1. Coffee + Tea
Coffee and tea are the staining fraternity’s most notorious duo. Avoid them at all costs during the first 24 hours, even if it means droopy eyelids at work. These drinks contain tannins, an organic substance that can stain your teeth yellow.
Alternatives to Coffee and Tea: None. “White coffee” is still coffee.
2. Red Wine
Red wine is the number one stainer, especially if it is big, bold and tannic. Remember, big and bold = big and bold stains. Overall, we should be avoiding red altogether. Such is the potency, that we even have to avoid fruits commonly used to describe red wines. Think blackberries, currants, etc. These dark berries have powerful pigments that can quickly darken teeth.
Alternatives to Red Wine: Enjoy a white wine instead.
3. Dark Sauces
This rather broad category encompasses anything from the blacker-than-black Asian black sauce, to a comparatively benign ragu bolognese, and everything in between. Curries deserve an honourable mention here, as they often contain ingredients like turmeric, which readily imparts colour.
Alternatives to Dark Sauces/Curries: Chow down on a safe meal like white bee hoon or pasta alfredo.
Chocolate bars, powder, ice cream, and fountains? Just say no. Happiness can wait. You should avoid dark foods after freshly-whitening your smile, and chocolate is one of them. Don’t worry; you’ll be able to enjoy your favourite dessert again after a few days of abstaining.
Alternatives to Chocolate: The knowledge of having whiter teeth might just prove to be a substitute! But if you’re craving a sweet snack, consider cheesecake or vanilla ice cream instead.
Smoking is generally bad for your oral health, and it can ruin a newly-whitened smile. This includes cigarettes and all other forms of tobacco. Nicotine and tar from tobacco products easily mix with saliva and darken the teeth.
Alternative to Smoking: Vaping/e-cigarettes can be less staining (but they are still potentially bad for your health).
Read more: How to Maintain Healthy Teeth if You Smoke
Enjoy your pearly-whites for as long as possible by avoiding these 5 things, especially in the first few days. Should any of these be consumed/used inadvertently, rinse out immediately, have a good brush, and say a little prayer.
If you’re looking to whiten your smile, see one of our friendly dentists today