September 4, 2021
You have been looking forward to girls’ night with your besties for weeks now. You all meet up at the Boston Winery, and their red wine was as good as you’d been told. What a great night!
When you head home and get ready for bed, you grab your toothbrush. Good grief! Your teeth are stained from the wine, and you just put down a pretty penny on a teeth-whitening treatment that morning. You shake your head with dismay at the person in the mirror.
When you invest the money in professional teeth whitening, you want the results to stick. The most important rule to making that happen is targeting beverages and foods that whiten teeth in the first 48 hours while avoiding problematic items – aka the “White Diet.”
What is the “White Diet”?
In the first 48 hours after a professional teeth whitening, it is recommended that you avoid acidic, pigmented foods and beverages in favor of items that will not cause discoloration. The “White Diet” is a short-term plan consisting of white and light-colored foods and drinks.
After a professional whitening, your teeth become slightly porous, and the dentin layer becomes temporarily exposed. Acidic and dark-colored foods are more easily absorbed into your teeth after whitening, which cause discoloration. The White Diet allows you to limit the number of dyes and pigments that contact your teeth until the sensitivity dissipates.
What are Items to Avoid for the White Diet?
Here are some foods and drinks to set aside after getting your teeth whitened:
- Wine: Red wine is high in acidity with dark pigment to cause stains, but even white wine can break down enamel and should be avoided. Also pass on colored fruit juice.
- Coffee & Tea: They contain tannins that can stain fast when your teeth are porous after a whitening.
- Soft Drinks: Carbonated drinks are high in sugar and acid, which can strip away tooth enamel. Dark-colored colas can contribute to surface stains.
- Candy & Chocolate: Refined sugars can lead to decay, erosion, and discoloration, especially when your teeth are sensitive after whitening.
- Dark Fruits: Dark-colored fruits are rich in pigments that stain. If fruit is acidic, it can contribute to enamel erosion. Avoid raspberries, cherries, pomegranates, blackberries, and blueberries.
- Dark Sauces: Examples to avoid are soy sauce and tomato sauce.
- Tobacco: It might not be edible, but tobacco can ruin your White Diet efforts.
What Should You Target on the White Diet?
There are plenty of tasty options you can call upon after your teeth whitening:
- White Fish, Chicken, & Tofu: Just watch out for vibrant seasonings and stick to white sauces. Egg whites are another protein option.
- Light Fruits & Veggies: Target items like bananas, pears, apples, cauliflower, potatoes, and mushrooms.
- Rice, Bread, & Pasta: Avoid molasses or food coloring in the ingredients and choose white sauces.
- White Cheese & Plain Yogurt: Skip artificially colored cheeses and sugary, flavored yogurts.
- Clear Drinks & Milk: Water is the best option, but coconut water and milk are fine, too.
The easiest way to follow the White Diet is avoid any food or drinks that would stain a white t-shirt. Simply making smart choices for 48 hours can pay huge dividends for your smile!
About the Author
Jack B. Share, DDS graduated with high honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and was elected by the faculty to membership in the prestigious Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society. Dr. Share continues to strive for excellence to provide optimal care to his patients in the Boston area. To schedule a teeth-whitening appointment or other service, or just to ask a general dentistry question, visit his website or call (617) 742-1350.
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