Q&A,  Whitening

Can You Eat After Using Teeth Whitening Strips?

This article is a part of our Q&A series in which we give detailed answers to our readers' questions. Have a question? Don't hesitate and send it to us to get a detailed answer!

Teeth whitening strips have become a popular option for individuals seeking a brighter smile. However, there are concerns regarding eating habits post-application. This comprehensive guide will delve into the specifics of what to expect and how to navigate your eating habits after using teeth whitening strips.

How Teeth Whitening Strips Work?

Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. These strips are typically used for 14 days, and they will generally show the desired results within a few days. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth.

Why Caution is Necessary?

The peroxide in whitening strips opens up the pores in your teeth to lift out stains. While this is happening, the teeth are more vulnerable to staining, as the enamel is temporarily softened. Therefore, it is necessary to be cautious with your eating habits to avoid counteracting the whitening effect or causing sensitivity.

Whitening Strips Post Application Guidelines

Immediate Aftermath

  • Wait Before Eating: It is advisable to wait at least 30 minutes after removing the strips before consuming any food. This gives your saliva a chance to remineralize the teeth and for the pores in your enamel to close.
  • Drink Water: Drinking water immediately after can help in rinsing away any residual gel.

Choosing What to Eat

  • Foods to Avoid: For at least 48 hours after using whitening strips, avoid consuming foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth such as coffee, tea, red wine, and dark sodas, and foods like berries, tomato sauce, or anything with artificial coloring.
  • Opt for Teeth-Friendly Foods: Opt for foods that are less likely to stain your teeth. These include dairy products, especially cheese, as it helps to neutralize acids. Fruits like apples and strawberries are also good as they have natural cleansing properties.

Ongoing Maintenance

  • Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet with sufficient calcium will help keep your teeth strong.
  • Limit Sugar and Acidic Foods: Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, which can stain your teeth. Acidic foods can erode enamel. Be mindful of the consumption of these foods not only immediately after using the strips but as a part of your ongoing maintenance.

Oral Hygiene

  • Brushing and Flossing: Continue to brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth healthy and free of stains.
  • Use a Straw: When drinking beverages that can stain your teeth, using a straw can prevent the liquid from touching your teeth.

Bottom Line

While teeth whitening strips can be an effective way to brighten your smile, it’s important to remember that what you eat after using them can have a significant impact on their effectiveness. Maintain a disciplined regimen in the first 48 hours after application and continue with vigilant oral hygiene and smart food choices thereafter. Always consult your dentist for personalized advice and information regarding your dental health.

This Q&A series article is complete and was published on July 19, 2023, and last updated on July 19, 2023.

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