How long after teeth whitening can I drink coffee? That's a common question that we get here at Healthy Smiles. Aside from being told that we're "the best implant dentist in Staten Island," we consider ourselves to be the best family dental practice in Staten Island, NY as well. That means we cover every aspect of oral health. One of those is teeth whitening.
So many people come in to have their teeth whitened. So many people also drink coffee every day. In fact, almost all of us drink coffee or tea or eat foods that can stain teeth on a daily basis. So it's no wonder that people want to know when they can drink coffee again after their teeth whitening.
The answer to this question is dependent on what kind of teeth whitening is being done. The process of whitening teeth - whether it be one in-office visit or a two-week application of trays - opens the pores of the teeth. This is how the bleach gets into the teeth to help reduce the appearance of staining. If the bleaching solution can get into those pores, it only stands to reason that so can foods and drinks that stain. It's important not to let that happen.
In-office whitening is a one-time visit that is done about twice a year. Because there's only one visit, the amount of time you have to wait to drink coffee or tea is only about a day. This allows the whitening agent to fully work and the teeth to be able to resist the staining effects of food and drink.
At-home whitening takes a significantly longer amount of time to do. Rather than one in-office visit, you'll be using trays and gel for around two weeks. During that time, the teeth are perpetually at risk for further staining if things like coffee or tea are consumed. For the best results, it's recommended to avoid foods and drinks that can stain the teeth for the full two weeks.
After the two week period, wait another one to two days to begin consuming food and drink that can cause staining.
Our own Dr. Cipriano advises that the rule of thumb is that you shouldn't eat or drink anything while whitening your teeth that you wouldn't eat or drink on your mother's white couch. Think of your teeth as that nice couch in the front room that your mother would yell at you for ruining. You don't want to get anything like coffee, tea, wine, or spaghetti sauce on that couch, and the same holds true for your teeth while whitening them.
As we discussed in our previous teeth whitening article, that's a matter of personal preference. In-office whitening is more effective and lasts longer, but for some at-home whitening might be more convenient. If you're already jonesing for your cup of Joe just by reading about having to avoid drinking it, then we highly suggest in-office whitening so you can get that java back into you where it belongs quicker.
So now that we know the difference between at-home and in-office teeth whitening, how long they both take, and how long you should wait to have food or drink that can stain teeth after whitening, it's up to you to decide which method is best for you. If you're on the fence or want more information, feel free to schedule an appointment with us. As both the best implant dentist in Staten Island and the best family dental practice in NYC, we're happy to help you with all aspects of your oral health.