Watching what you eat and drink is important for maintaining a healthy white smile. Taking care of your smile, keeping your teeth feeling and looking charming requires more than regular brushing, flossing and visiting a dental hygienist or dentist. Dentist like Stockport based Holly House Teeth is among the leading dental practices that can help you look after your teeth and offer advice to reduce the decay caused by everyday foods. But why do some foods stain your teeth while others do not, and what should we avoid?
What causes the discoloration?
Some foods and drinks can stain our teeth and cause damage to the enamel, which in turn makes our teeth vulnerable to discoloration from the chromogen content of what we eat and drink.
Chromogen is a pigment-producing substance that attaches to tooth enamel, causing staining. Tannins like those found in tea also help the chromogens stick together, which intensifies the staining. Combine this with acidic drinks or foods that erode tooth enamel, we give the chromogen a larger area to attack and stick to.
Even foods we think are healthy and good enough for us can cause stains on our teeth. Understanding what foods can cause problems and adapting our routine to protect our teeth can definitely help our teeth stay feeling and looking better for longer.
Everyday foods that stain your teeth
Tea and coffee – It contains harmful tannins, with tea, particularly, causing discoloration. You just need to look at your cup when you are done to see the damage your teeth have done.
Enamel is the protection your teeth need. Like tea and coffee, energy drinks and colas contain acids, sugars and even artificial sugars that can make the PH of your saliva plummet and the lower the pH level of your mouth, the more you risk enamel loss. The acidity will also provide a hospitable environment for the growth of bacteria, which cause sore gums. It may not occur to you, but energy drinks can cause you to stiffen, and as a result, you can grind your teeth, leading to decay and loss of teeth. They are also linked to a higher incidence of acid reflux, which helps cause cavities.
Fruit juice – Dark juices particularly, including popular choices such as cranberry and grape juice, contain natural sources of intense dark pigment and are highly acidic, so they should be drunk moderately. Lighter juices like apple juice are less harmful. While they’ve similar levels of acidity, they can help neutralize stains caused by other drinks or foods.
Red wine – If you like a glass or two of red wine, you’ll no doubt remember that it’s probably the most common causes of tooth discoloration and marking. It is not a good idea to floss instantly after drinking, waiting an hour before brushing to give the microscopically corrosive chromogens and acids an opportunity to dissipate. Pairing wine with cheese can even help reduce acid.
Curry and tomato based sauce – Again, it’s full of high acidity and intense color. You can reduce the effects of tomatoes and turmeric (which are yellow in color) by adding green leafy vegetables and brushing your teeth and tongue quickly after eating.
Berries and Beets – both are pretty much as good at staining teeth as clothing, so that should serve as a warning. They are full of nutrients, but again, it is advisable to clean your teeth within an hour of eating them. If that’s impossible, try to rinse your mouth with water after eating.
There’s no need to cut everything out of your diet, but watch how much and when you consume it and adjust your teeth cleaning habits accordingly. So anything that’s strongly coloured or high in acidity and you must watch out.
Maintain a good oral hygiene regime and visit your dentist and healthcare professional regularly to treat any concerns and take precautions to reduce or correct the problem instantly. If stained teeth are a problem, professional teeth whitening and home treatments can help restore your smile. However, you may must watch out not to do the same damage again after bleaching.