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Coffee After Professional Whitening?

Is it a myth that after your teeth are professionally whitened, you have to drink coffee through a straw, otherwise your teeth become permanently stained?

Doctor Answers (16)

Mythbusters: Coffee does not permanently stain teeth

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Almost any stain we acquire on our teeth from everyday foods, drinks and habits can can be made lighter, whiter and better with the use of professional whitening.  I think that this myth was thrown out of perspective, but has some underlying truth to it. 

First truth: The longer our teeth come in contact with dark staining foods and drinks, the more susceptible we are to stain.  This is why straws can be a good option to lessen the amount of time a dark staining liquid (coffee or soda for example) has in contact with your teeth.

Second truth: After whitening (bleaching), teeth become dehydrated temporarily, making them more susceptible to picking up stain.  That's why we advise patients to avoid dark staining things (tobacco, coffee, red wine, etc) for the first 24-48 hours.  It's not that your teeth will all of a sudden become a deep Argentinian Malbec Red if you accidentally have a glass of Malbec, it's just more likely that the the whitening you just did won't appear as effective thereby negating the effort you just put in.  No worries, you'll just have to bleach an extra night or two to counter that and achieve the whiteness you desire.


Miami Beach Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

No permanent staining

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Drinking and/or eating anything that will stain your teeth (coffee, red wine, blueberries, etc) immediately after your procedure will stain your teeth, but the results will not be permanent.  It is advised to not drink and eat anything that will "stain your white shirt" 24-48 hours after your procedure, as your teeth won't be as white as they were when you first left your dentist's office.  Remember, your teeth are dehydrated and sensitive after the procedure.

Lawrence Singer, DMD
Washington Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Permanent Coffee Stains After Professional Teeth Whitening

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In a nutshell, teeth are most susceptible to stain during the first 24-48 hours following professional in-office whitening.  It is not necessary to drink coffee through a straw indefinitely to avoid staining your pearly whites.  While it doesn't prevent coffee stains from forming on the backs of your teeth, drinking through a straw can help decrease the chance of premature fading. 

Lorin F. Berland, DDS
Dallas Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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Will Coffee stain your teeth permanently after whitening?

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Coffee, along with red wine, tea, tobacco, blueberries etc. will stain your teeth no matter what but it is not permanent.  That is why we always make whitening trays for touch up.  After whitening, your teeth are dehydrated from the bleaching process and are very sensitive to stain. We recommend you refrain from the above substances for a least a week so your teeth have time to rehydrate.  We use Kor Whitening in  our practice and there is no problem with teeth dehydratring; however, .I would be mindful of what foods and drinks come  into contact with  my beautiful new white teeth for at least a week!

Robert Fields, DDS
Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Coffee After Professional Whitening

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The tooth staining which occurs from drinking coffee is not permanent.  Whitening does alter the surface of the teeth.  The saliva will rehydrate and remineralize the surface of the teeth in a relatively short time. 

I do not recommend consuming any foods or drinks that can stain the teeth for at least 12 hours after whitening.  It is during this period that the teeth will be most susceptible to absorbing stains.

Marc Zive, DMD
Springfield Cosmetic Dentist

Coffee After Professional Whitening?

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We do tell our patents that they should avoid all dark staining foods including coffee for the first 48 hours. This is so that the pores of the teeth have a chance to close up and dont get clogged with dark stains. Drinking through a straw will definitely avoid those foods from getting into your teeth and will prolong the whitening results

Rod Strober, DDS
San Diego Cosmetic Dentist

Do not eat or drink anything that would stain a white shirt after bleaching

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For the first 24-48 hours after a professional bleaching, it is good to follow  the adage "don't eat or drink anything that would stain a white shirt".  As the teeth re-hydrate and remineralize  over the next day or two, anything with a dark color will stain the freshly bleached surfaces.  You can use a touch up pen, kit or trays to help lock in the color that you achieved with the intial bleaching session.  Over time, depending on your habits, your teeth will stain back up but you can use your maintenance whitening kit to keep your smile bright.  On a side note, after you do use your maintenance kit, avoid the same dark foods/drinks for at least an hour after you touch up so as not to mar your  results.

Joseph Hufanda, DDS
Charlotte Cosmetic Dentist

Coffee after teeth whitening

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After a professional whitening procedure it is best to avoid anything that would have caused the staining in the first place for the first 24-48 hours. This can include coffee, tea, tobacco or anything that would stain a white shirt.

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Professional Whitening Can Be Touched Up

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Professional Whitening will always need to be touched upThat is why custom whitening trays are important.  You can use the trays for years after and can purchase touch up whitening kits anytime.  If you eat blueberries, red pasta sauce, drink red wine or coffee, etc. after your professional whitening your teeth can turn colors-We recommend you stay with white colored foods and give the whitening at least 48 hours or more while the teeth remineralize, before you eat colored foods.  Using a straw can help with stain but if you feel your teeth have stained or changed color-don't panic-just touch up the whitening!!!  Use Supersmile Toothpaste to keep your whitening looking great as well.

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Coffee after whitening

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After a professional whitening procedure it is best to avoid anything that would have caused the staining in the first place for the first 24-48 hours.  This can include coffee, tea, tobacco or anything that would stain a white shirt.

Daniel Beninato, DDS
Omaha Cosmetic Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.