Prevent Stained Teeth
What you eat not only determines how healthy you are, but it may also determine how your smile looks. Many people eat and drink foods every day, not realizing that some of those foods are slowly turning their teeth gray or yellow over time. If you have noticed that your teeth are not as white as they used to be, it could be that you’re staining your teeth by what you’re eating. Around 80% of Americans start their day off with coffee. This is actually one of the worst culprits when it comes to stained teeth. Teas, sodas, wine, acidic juices, and more can all play a role in the color of your teeth. Let us help you know what foods and drinks to avoid to prevent stained teeth and how you can get a whiter smile today!
Foods and Drinks Cause Stained Teeth
For most people, food and drinks are the substances that cause stained teeth. Having poor oral health hygiene can also cause stained teeth, but this is usually more decay than staining. Some foods are bad for your teeth because they lead to tooth decay. Those foods include citrus fruits and drinks as well as sodas, carbonated drinks (including sparkling water), and sweet treats. Other foods that are considered healthy are major culprits of stained teeth. How do you know what foods will stain your teeth? You can generally know by the color they are. Blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates are all foods that can seriously stain your teeth. They naturally have rich dyes, which can dye your teeth as well.
A good tip for knowing if a food or drink will stain your teeth is how well you can remove it from clothing if you spill it. Reds, purples, blues, blacks and other dark colors will stain your teeth. This includes red wine and other beverages that use red, purple or dark dyes in them. However, white wine can also stain your teeth in a way. It’s acidic content makes small pockets and fissures in your teeth where other foods can then come in and stain your teeth even darker. Also watch out for foods such as beets, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and grape and cranberry juice. If you avoid many (or all) of the foods that lead to stained teeth, then your tooth discoloration is probably due to aging teeth or your oral health habits.
What About Coffee?
Coffee is not only one of the worst drinks for your teeth, but is one of the most consumed beverages out there. About 83% of Americans start their day off with at least one cup of coffee, but a large percentage of those have multiple cups of coffee throughout their day. However, coffee leads to stained teeth, as it contains something called “tannins”. This is an acidic polyphenol that stains and discolors the teeth. Plus, because it’s acidic in nature, that acid can erode away your tooth enamel, especially if you drink it every day. If so, make sure to wait 20-30 minutes after drinking to brush your teeth, as you don’t want to brush your teeth while an acidic substance is still on the teeth. That would actually brush away more tooth enamel.
A close cousin to coffee, tea will cause stained teeth as well. Why? It also contains tannins that lead to discoloration. Studies show that the type of tea you drink will also determine what color discoloration your teeth have. Green tea can make your teeth appear gray over time and black tea will lead to stained teeth that are more yellow. Some studies also suggest that higher-quality teas and coffees will stain your teeth less than low-quality ones, so take that into consideration when choosing what you drink.
Everyone is bound to have stained teeth eventually. In fact, even if you have invested in whitening services before, that whiteness starts to fade after about 7 years. Whitening your teeth is a great way to change their color to beautiful, brilliant white. Even severely stained teeth can improve their color with teeth whitening. This is a service best done when received in-office, as a dentist is the one giving you the treatment. Dentists are skilled to provide a uniform layer of whiteness, whereas over-the-counter treatments can sometimes yield undesirable results. Plus, teeth whitening can be done in just one appointment, which makes it a great option to brighten your smile before important events.
A White Smile that Lasts
There are several ways you can prevent stained teeth. One way is to cut out the foods and drinks that lead to stains in the first place. However, many people won’t want to cut out those foods forever or at all. Using a straw with your drinks can help reduce the beverage’s contact with your teeth. This will reduce your risk for stained teeth. When it comes to coffee, drinking from a straw is better than sipping from a cup. Also drinking from a to-go lid can help minimize coffee’s contact with your teeth without you having to suck the drink down. Avoid tobacco and alcohol use, as both of these substances stain your teeth very quickly.
There are only so many ways to prevent stained teeth. You may not even realize that your teeth are stained until they have significantly changed color. One of the best ways to prevent stains is to brush and floss your teeth several times a day, especially after ingesting foods and drinks that stain easily. We can help you to know the status of your oral health and if you have stained teeth at your biannual checkups and cleanings. To schedule yours, call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940!