How Long After Teeth Whitening Can I Eat Foods That May Stain?

After having teeth professionally bleached how long should one wait before consuming darker colored food products? (i.e. brown sodas, red juices, etc.)

Doctor Answers 12

Maintenance is critical

The first couple of days after tooth whitening are the most critical. After whitening the pores or dentinal tubules are open and most susceptible to staining. I tell my patients to wait at least 36-48 hours to consume food or beverages that may stain teeth, those include anything that may stain a white T-shirt. All systems require maintenance with at-home trays that can be fabricated by your dentist. Consuming beverages that may stain teeth with a straw helps to keep your teeth sparkling!

Manhattan Dentist

Wait 48 hours after whitening

To maximize your whitening results and avoid introducing stain, it is best to wait 48 hours after professionally whitening your teeth before you consume any dark liquids, sauces, or foods.  

Waiting after teeth whitening....

In my experience, I tell patients to wait forty-eight hours. You would not want to go through all the effort of whitening your teeth and then discoloring them again.

Daniell Mishaan, DDS
New York Dentist

Avoid staining foods and drinks after whitening

It is recommended that you avoid staining foods and drinks for at least 48 hours after whitening your teeth.  Obviously the longer you can wait, the better the result.  For long term maintenance, drinking staining liquids through a straw helps maintain your color as well as rinsing your mouth with water after.  At home maintenance of your bleaching is easy with take home trays or using a paint on bleach after a meal or drink. 

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD
Chicago Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Wait to eat staining foods after whitening.

For the best result, avoid foods that have a lot of color (coffee, tea, mustard, cranberry juice, red wine) for several days until the open pores in the tooth have closed over.

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Should wait 2 days after whitening

After whitening, the teeth are in a reversible demineralized state and more likely to stain. 48 hours after discontinuing chemical exposure, the buffering effects of the saliva will help remineralize the enamel and the teeth should be more resistant to foods that tend to discolor (red wine, colas, coffee, etc)

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews


Teeth get somewhat dehydrated from teeth whitening and become like little sponges that can absorb color. This is why it is recommended to avoid colored foods for at least 24 hours. I usually recommend 48 hours to be safe. This dehydration is the same reason teeth may be a bit sensitive. This sensitivity only lasts about 24 hours and can be helped with sensodyne toothpaste and over the counter anti-inflammatories. 

Victoria Veytsman, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

It is Recommended to Wait from Eating Foods That Stain After Teeth Whitening

After our patients receive Professional Tooth Whitening, either in-office or take-home, we recommend that they refrain from foods and beverages that might stain their teeth.  We recommend waiting 48 hours as this is plenty of time for teeth to rehydrate.  We also recommend immediately expectorating or rinsing with water after drinking and eating these foods that stain.

Nick M. Mobilia, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Sustained whitening

Longer the better. If you have taken all the effort to whiten your teeth and are enjoying that smile, why to rush and discolour them again. Normally it is suggested 48 hours minimum of no black tea, black coffee, red wine or foods with colours. Best is to keep them to minimum for up to 7 days after.

Natwarlal Tibrewal, BDS
Leeds Dentist
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Keeping Teeth White After Whitening

How long after whitening can one eat foods that will stain teeth?  For any foods that would stain your pristine white blouse, I always advise our patients here at the Center for Esthetic Dentistry, LLC to wait at least 48 hours.  This is a good amount of time to let your teeth rehydrate.  The rehydration is necessary to close off any enamel pores that might have naturally opened up during the whitening process. 

N. Summer Lerch, DDS, FAGD
New Haven Dentist
4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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.