Fact Checked

How Long After Teeth Whitening Can I Eat Normally?

Written by Fernanda Elizalde

November 01, 2022

Medically Reviewed

By Dr. James Younan, DDS

An effective way to brighten your pearly whites is to opt for a teeth whitening procedure.

Teeth whitening is very popular, effective, and affordable. Whitening treatments can lift even the most stubborn of stains.

However, it is important to remember that your newly whitened teeth must be taken care of after treatment. A teeth whitening treatment can last a long time with proper aftercare.

In order to achieve and maintain an optimal shade of white and proper routine, certain oral health tips must be followed.

This article will break down the 'do's and don'ts' after you whiten your teeth. The tips below will help you keep your teeth white.

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Wait at least 48 hours before you begin drinking coffee, red wine, or eating dark-pigmented foods. Your tooth enamel is more porous after a whitening treatment and more vulnerable to stains. It takes a few days for your saliva to remineralize your teeth and make them strong again. Till then, eat gentle foods that are soft and light in color.



Dental specialists recommend mindful aftercare and that you take care of your teeth even before a whitening treatment. Treatments are designed for people with a healthy mouth and good oral care. It's good to take steps before you get your teeth whitened to ensure treatments can work as effectively as possible and make your smile brighter.


If you haven't maintained dental health and already have buildup due to infrequent brushing, a whitening treatment may not work as effectively.

Before you begin your whitening treatment, it would a good idea to commit yourself to a strict oral hygiene routine in preparation. Have your teeth professionally cleaned before your next whitening procedure to remove tartar buildup.

If you have excessive build-up, it may be hard to remove using just a toothbrush and floss. Your dentist needs to perform a deep cleaning first. Your dentist will also examine your teeth aside from cleaning and whitening.

A dentist will be able to discuss any concerns regarding your dental hygiene and oral health. Your dentist will also check for tooth decay or periodontal disease. If you have any oral conditions, they'll need to be addressed before you get your teeth whitened.

Whitening treatments lift stubborn stains, but good oral hygiene will ensure that you can reap the long-term benefits and results of the treatment.

Following a white diet will form healthy dental life and keep unwanted side effects at bay.


Consider getting your teeth professionally whitened by a dentist. By getting the procedure done at the dentist, you can target all your teeth and pick a shade that will match your face and skin tone while creating a lasting impact on your smile. You can also opt for at-home teeth whitening kits.


A great way to maintain good oral health is to eat the following foods, skinless turkey, white fish, chicken, white pasta, egg whites, peeled potatoes, cauliflower, white onions, and skim or low-fat milk.


It's safe to say no to citrus fruits and only eat foods that your dentist recommends.

You'll also want to avoid hot or cold food and drinks after the treatment. Your teeth may be more sensitive. Room temperature foods are your best bet.

Brush and floss soon after a meal using whitening toothpaste to enhance your whiter teeth. Your teeth may feel sensitive for a few days after treatment. If you experience extreme sensitivity, be sure to reach out to your dentist.

Soon after having your teeth whitened, be sure to brush your teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste formula designed for sensitive teeth.


While sticking to white foods such as egg whites, white rice, and white bread, remember to avoid foods like carbonated drinks as they will not just ruin your teeth but also cause mild irritation if consumed soon after the treatment.

You may treat yourself to a glass of white wine if you feel the urge. While it may feel hard to avoid eating your favorite foods, you can easily find alternatives to things you like.

For example, your favorite cheese can be swapped for white cheeses that taste as good. Avoiding dark-pigmented foods will help keep your smile bright.

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Though you want to do everything humanly possible to maintain your newly found perfect white smile, it is important to allow ample time in between treatments.

While touch-ups are definitely encouraged, excessive teeth whitening can cause sensitivity issues.


Certain foods such as teas, sodas, coffee, soy sauce, fruit juices, red wine, and dark fruits are best avoided soon after a teeth whitening session.

Avoid dark-pigmented food and beverages. It's best to avoid foods that stain teeth for the first two weeks following your teeth whitening procedure. You can eat after teeth whitening; however, stick to light-colored foods.

After a whitening treatment your teeth are more porous and stain more easily. Allow for your tooth enamel to rebuild it's defenses and remineralize your teeth.


Avoid acidic foods at all costs. Acidic food makes your teeth more porous by breaking down the enamel, the protective layer of your teeth. Eroded enamel is more susceptible to staining.


Stay away from chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and alcohol. Smoking and alcohol are leading culprits of tooth decay and tooth loss.

If you wish to keep your teeth healthy, you are better off following a white diet (light foods) by eating relatively plain foods such as bread, light meats, white cheese, and white fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you eat after whitening your teeth?

During the whitening procedure, the enamel on your teeth expands and becomes porous. This is critical for the bleach to penetrate effectively. It also makes your teeth more vulnerable to meals that are vividly colored or possibly staining. Because your teeth are so porous, colors from the food you consume can more easily be absorbed.

Can I eat right after teeth whitening?

In general, avoid foods that are prone to re-stain your teeth or irritate sensitive teeth. After a brief period, usually between 48-72 hours, you can resume a normal nutritious diet.

How long after teeth whitening can I eat dark-colored food?

You should wait at least 48 hours before eating dark-colored foods. 

Can I eat french fries after whitening my teeth?

French fries and other potato-based dishes, particularly after the skin has been removed, are fine after teeth whitening.


Drink lots of water to ensure adequate saliva production after a whitening treatment. Practice good oral hygiene, mindful habits, and eat a healthy diet.

Wait for at least 48 hours to eat any dark-tinted foods, hot or cold foods, and any citrus food. Your teeth will thank you for it.

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