About Teeth Whitening | Why You Need to Watch What You Eat | What is a White Diet | Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening | Teeth Care after Whitening | White Foods Diet for Bowel Preparation | How Intermittent Fasting Can Help
The glint of a lively smile is a fool-proof way to enhance self-confidence and has an ever-lasting impact on others. Smile is one of the first things that we tend to notice about another person, whether on a professional or personal front. We always want people to look at us and see a genuine smile with a straight row of pearly white teeth flashing at them.
Unfortunately, the same does not always happen. That’s because our teeth are not always perfect the way we wish to. However, you can get a picture-perfect set of white teeth if you opt for professional teeth whitening. In that case, you might have also heard about the white foods diet.
Although teeth whitening can enhance your appearance effectively, it is crucial to take care of the teeth post-whitening. If you have recently had your teeth whitened, you should be extra cautious because they are highly vulnerable to staining. Certain foods should be opted after having a teeth whitening session to protect your teeth from staining and other potential issues. Here’s how the role of a white foods diet comes into the picture.
What is Teeth Whitening, and How is it Done?
Teeth whitening is a procedure that is done to whiten your teeth by removing the stains that build up over time. Consumption of things like coffee, red wine, cigarettes, and foods that are high in dark pigments such as beetroots and carrots can stain the enamel and dentin of your teeth. There are various ways to do teeth whitening, including over-the-counter peroxide-based whitening trays or getting the teeth enamel removed by professionals and then replacing it with whitening agents.
Why You Need to Watch What You Eat?
When you go for a professional teeth whitening procedure, the first 48 hours after the procedure are crucial. You may witness significant changes in your teeth immediately after the procedure but may lose all the benefits if you do not take adequate care of your teeth during that period. To understand why it is required to be cautious about what to eat after the teeth whitening procedure, first, you need to know how the teeth whitening procedure works.
Your teeth enamel gets expanded and becomes porous during the teeth whitening procedure. This makes your teeth more prone to staining, especially with brightly colored foods and acidic beverages. Since your teeth are porous, they easily absorb the color pigments from the food that you eat. Hence, it is essential to follow the post-treatment recommendations. Specifically, in making wise food choices when your teeth are susceptible to staining.
What is a White Foods Diet for Teeth Whitening?
The white foods diet is a combination of foods that helps prevent your teeth from staining after a teeth whitening procedure. It usually does not contain foods that are high in dark pigments such as broccoli, blueberries, beetroots, red wine, black tea, etc. Your doctor might recommend a white foods diet to ensure that the new enamel on your teeth after your teeth whitening procedure does not get tarnished and the brightness remains as intact as possible.
Now that you know why a white diet is essential for teeth whitening, let’s explore some list of white foods that come under the white foods diet list. Additionally, we will also look into the list of foods to avoid during this period. Some excellent options for white-colored foods include:
- White bread without the crust and watch out for bread that contains molasses or artificial color to avoid staining.
- Whole grains include whole grain bread, white pasta, oats, brown rice, or quinoa.
- Legumes like white beans and garbanzo beans.
- Egg whites scramble without the yolk.
- White meats like white fish, turkey, and chicken.
- Dairy products like white cheeses, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt without color, vanilla ice creams, etc.
- Vegetables and mushrooms including white cabbage, white potatoes, white asparagus, cauliflower, white mushrooms, etc.
- Fruits include apples, bananas, green apples, and pears.
- Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and peanuts.
Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening
Eating certain foods, particularly those with strong pigments, may result in teeth staining. Hence, you must avoid these foods for a few days after the teeth whitening procedure.
- Red meat
- Dark-colored vegetables like carrots, beetroots, and spinach
- Dark fruits like blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, cranberries, and grapes
- Spices like red chili and turmeric
- Ketchup, tomato sauce, red pasta sauce
- Jellies and jams
- Dark sauces such as soy, barbecue, etc
- Maple syrup, caramel
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dark chocolates and candies
- Coffee and black tea
- Dark soft drinks
- Red wine and dark beer
How to Take Proper Care of the Teeth Immediately after Whitening?
Although some foods are not recommended after whitening as they may cause stains on the teeth, you need not have to keep yourself away from these foods permanently. However, the following tips can be adhered to to keep your teeth looking white for longer.
- Brush your teeth with white toothpaste only.
- Quit smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Avoid taking very hot or cold foods.
- If you are desperate to drink tea, coffee, or any dark-colored drink, sip them through a straw. This will prevent the drink from directly coming in contact with the teeth.
- Brush your teeth immediately if you have taken any dark-colored food.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth after each meal.
White Foods Diet for Bowel Preparation
A bowel colonoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible endoscope is used to look at the inside of your large bowel or colon. To make the procedure seamless and accurate, your bowel needs to be completely clean. Hence doctors recommend a combination of dietary changes and bowel preparation medication. A low residue or a white foods diet is usually prescribed to ensure the colon is completely clean at the time of the procedure.
A white foods diet is a low-residue diet that is not brightly colored. It decreases the amount of undigested food in your digestive system and limits the intake of essential fibers to minimize bowel activity. Following a white foods diet during the days before bowel colonoscopy can help clear the bowel and an effective procedure can be carried out properly. Here is a list of some white food diets that you can follow before the procedure.
- Milk and dairy: Milk cream, buttermilk, cheese, including cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream.
- Bread and grains: Bread and grains made with refined white flour (including rolls, muffins, bagels, and pasta), white rice plain crackers, and low-fiber cereal (including rice bubbles or cornflakes).
- Meat: Chicken without skin, turkey, lean pork, veal, fish and seafood, egg white without yolk, and tofu.
- Fruits: Fruit juice without pulp, apple sauce, ripe cantaloupe and honeydew, ripe and peeled apricots, bananas, and peaches.
- Vegetables: Canned or cooked vegetables without skin or peel (includes peeled turnips and asparagus tips), potatoes without skin, and cucumbers without seeds or peel.
- Nut butter: Creamy (smooth) peanut or almond butter.
- Fats and oils: Butter, margarine, vegetable, and other oils, mayonnaise, and salad dressings made without seeds or nuts.
- Soups: Strained broth, bouillon, consommé, strained soups, milk, or cream-based soup.
- Desserts: Custard, plain pudding, Vanilla ice cream, sorbet, jelly without red or purple dye, cookies or cake made with white flour, prepared without seeds, dried fruit, or nuts
- Drinks or beverages: Clear fruit drinks (no pulp), cleared colored soft drinks, soda, and water.
- Others: White sugar, brown sugar, salt, lemon juice, olive oil.
As per a 2016 research, the white foods diet is better tolerated in patients without having any damaging effect on the bowel preparation procedure.
How Intermittent Fasting can Benefit Teeth Whitening and Bowel Preparation?
Intermittent fasting is a strategic pattern of eating that involves restricting calorie intake for a pre-set period known as the fasting window followed by an eating window wherein you can eat as per your preference. During the fasting window you are prohibited from taking any calories however, plain water, and calorie-free beverages like black coffee and green tea are allowed to be consumed.
Intermittent fasting possesses several health benefits including weight loss, improved immune system, reduced blood sugar levels, reduced cholesterol levels, prevention of heart disease and weight gain, improved insulin sensitivity, etc. It can benefit teeth whitening as well.
The consumption of sugary and acidic foods can lead to tooth decay and enamel discoloration. While fasting, for a long period, the consumption of such foods is reduced and the pH of the saliva gets neutralized, which helps protect the teeth from decay and maintains the whiteness of the teeth. Further, intermittent fasting reduces inflammation in the body, which helps protect the gums from bleeding and bruising. A healthy gum can help the teeth look whiter.
Intermittent fasting can regulate bowel movements efficiently and improve bowel cleansing in patients who undergo colonoscopy. A prolonged hours of fasting has better bowel preparation results than those, who do not fast before the procedure. When combined with a low-residue diet, intermittent fasting can improve the bowel preparation quality even better.
However, it is essential to consult your healthcare professional before opting for intermittent fasting when going for a colonoscopy, especially if you have any underlying disease.
The Final Words
Teeth whitening is a procedure that expands the enamel and makes them porous. This makes the teeth more vulnerable to staining, especially within 48 hours of the procedure. If you do not treat your teeth with utmost care such as following a white color diet and avoiding colored foods during this period, you will be putting them at risk of staining, and in addition, your effort and money will be in vain.
Eating healthy foods containing essential nutrients such as dairy products, whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds can keep your teeth healthy and help them to look their best. You must avoid high-sugar and acidic foods to prevent your teeth from discoloration. Finally, retaining a vibrant smile is nothing but keeping a balance between what to eat and what to avoid.