White diet: is it necessary during tooth whitening?

Oper Dent. May-Jun 2015;40(3):235-40. doi: 10.2341/14-019-LIT. Epub 2015 Mar 6.


Patients are sometimes blamed for a reduced effect of bleaching when they do not adhere to a dentist's prescribed white diet. This study aimed to determine whether a white diet is necessary by evaluating the effects of coffee, tea, wine, and dark fruits on the potential tooth whitening during the bleaching process. Each of the effects of discoloration was categorized as "yes" or "no" based on a patient questionnaire. Data from five published studies were included in the analyses. Outcomes were based on the color change between baseline and the end of bleaching. The relationships between color changes were measured subjectively and objectively. A nonwhite diet was not significantly associated with less tooth whitening, and there was only a weak positive association between tooth whitening and diet for subjects who drank large amounts of coffee/tea.

MeSH terms

  • Coffee / adverse effects
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Fruit / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tea / adverse effects
  • Tooth Bleaching / methods*
  • Tooth Discoloration / etiology
  • Tooth Discoloration / prevention & control
  • Wine / adverse effects


  • Coffee
  • Tea