Dental Bleaching / Whitening

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Written and Medically Reviewed by

Medically Reviewed

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. Dr. Daniel Cho strives to provide unbiased and honest feedback regarding dental topics. This article contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.


**These are generalized instructions**. Consult your dental healthcare provider for personalized medical advice. This guide serves as a general overview and may not cover all individual needs.

Dental bleaching, also known as teeth whitening, brightens your smile and boosts your confidence. To optimize results and minimize complications, follow these post-operative guidelines.

Things To Do

Avoid Staining Foods and Beverages

For at least 48 hours post-treatment, stay away from staining foods like berries, and beverages like coffee and red wine. These can reduce the bleaching effect.

Use Sensitivity Toothpaste

Many patients experience tooth sensitivity after bleaching. Sensitivity toothpaste may help provide relief until the sensitivity goes away. Most often pain management is not needed. However you may take over the counter pain medication as directed by the manufacturer if necessary.

Refrain from Smoking

Smoking can not only stain your newly-bleached teeth but also lead to other oral health issues. A recent meta study in The Clinical and Experimental Dental Research journal states that tobacco use can interfere with the effectiveness of dental bleaching. 

While there aren’t many studies that have looked into how other forms of smoking such marijuana or vaping affect bleaching, it is better to avoid all forms of smoking for a few days.

Keep Hydration Levels Up

Drink plenty of water. It aids in maintaining the new shade of your teeth.

Stick to Soft Foods

Opt for soft foods that are easy on your teeth for at least 24 hours.

Use the Right Oral Care Products

A fluoride-containing mouthwash and toothpaste can help maintain the whitening results.

Additional Recommendations

  • Avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits, as they can exacerbate sensitivity.
  • Limit sugar intake as it can lead to plaque buildup, impacting the effectiveness of your whitening treatment.


By following these post-operative instructions diligently, you not only enhance the longevity of your dental bleaching results but also minimize potential risks. Always consult your dentist for personalized advice.

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