To keep those teeth nice and white, we are all aware that brushing and flossing regularly are required activities and that both smoking and chewing tobacco contribute to stained and yellow teeth.
However, the foods and drinks we consume on a consistent basis are also to blame for a dull smile and stained teeth. Here are common foods and drinks to avoid in order to keep your smile bright and white!
Intense Colors Equal Stains On Teeth
The biggest tooth stainers are the ones that contain intense colors. If the food or beverage is notorious for ruining clothing with stains, you can be sure that they are staining your teeth as well. There is definitely more potential for staining if the color is highly intense.
These staining colors from our food supply come in the form of chromogens which are intensely pigmented molecules. Theses molecules have a bad reputation for sticking strongly to the tooth enamel.
Alongside the chromogens is the acidity of the food which wears down the enamel which makes the tooth soft and more susceptible for the chromogens to latch on. The third factor is what is called tannins. Tannins promote staining by making the chromogens stronger at sticking to teeth.
Biggest Teeth Stainers
Wine. Red wine is an acidic beverage that contains the chromogens and tannins. Because all wines are acidic, even white wine can stain teeth. White wine can actually be a primer for other staining foods and drinks to have a deeper effect for stains.
Tea. Tannins are very rich in tea and especially within black tea which happens to be very popular. The tannins are so intense that dentists give the tea a characteristic of being “aggressive” when it comes to staining. Herbal tea and green tea are easier on the teeth that black tea.
Sports Drinks. Research has shown that sports drinks are very acidic which softens the enamel. This makes the tooth primed for staining.
Cola. Cola can cause very significant staining because it is rich in acidity and chromogens. Even light colored drinks have the acid value to do damage and soften the enamel. They are so acidic that it is said that cola has the same acid levels as battery acid.
Berries. Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, and other dark or intense colored fruit can cause stains. This also includes berry by-products such as pies, juices and other fruit drinks.
Sauces. Tomato sauce, soy sauce, curry sauce can cause staining as well as any deeply colored sauce.
Sugary Foods. Some junk food that contains tooth stainers are gum, popsicles and hard candies. A good way of knowing whether or not the candy can do harm is to see if your tongue turns colors while eating. Those same colors can stain teeth. However, candy lovers have to be consuming it on a regular basis to have a real detrimental effect.
Fighting Stains on Teeth
In recent years, teeth whitening has become an increasingly popular way to restore a bright smile. Teeth whitening can be completed in your dentist’s office or in the convenience of your home using over the counter products.
While there’s a wide range of teeth whitening products, it’s important to remember that the secret to whiter teeth is a combination of time and consistent use. Going to the dentist to get your teeth whitened is effective and takes just a little time. If you buy a teeth whitening product at the drug store, be sure to follow all directions carefully and use the product consistently over time.
Prevention is also an effective way to fight teeth stains. Try to be wary of foods and beverages that are intensely colored and keep an eye out for the nutrition facts label to avoid those that contain some sort of acid. This can help keep your smile brighter!
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Kelly Wilson is a freelance writer with a fabulous smile who visits her dentist regularly in order to whiten her teeth.