Watch Out for these Culprits.
It’s the modern ideal—a smile full of perfectly spaced, straight, sparkling white teeth. Advertisements and toothpaste aisles are full of solutions to help you get back that brilliant smile. But what is staining them in the first place? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?
- There’s nothing you can do about aging, but you can minimize it’s effects by avoiding things that will stain your teeth.
Tobacco products. Nicotine is amber in color and it loves your teeth. That should be reason number 2154 to stop smoking, dipping, chewing, etc.
- Dark beverages. Caramel-colored carbonated beverages, coffee, and tea are all acidic. This allows the beverage to attack the enamel letting the dark coloring do its worst. Surprisingly to most people, tea is the worst of the three for staining teeth. Tea has many health benefits, so don’t quit drinking it; just take steps to avoid staining.
- Wine, red AND white. White?? Really? Yep. Although white wine doesn’t deposit any color, its tannins (plant compounds that allow stains to adhere to enamel) and acids make it easier for stains to set in.
- Fruit, especially berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries…) are crawling in chromogens (harsh pigments). So are grapes and pomegranates as they also have tannins. Even tomatoes contain a large amount of chromogens.
- If it turns your tongue blue, it’s not ignoring your teeth.
- Brightly colored beverages including energy drinks. The dyes make them visually appealing, but they are still that…dyes.
- Ketchup and other dark sauces. Acids, tannins, and chromogens—the staining trifecta.
Obviously, you can’t be expected to not eat anything that contains chromogens, tannins and acids. So, how do you combat their effects?
- When you consume something that you know will stain your teeth, try to brush immediately after.
- If brushing is too inconvenient or simply not possible, rinse with water or mouthwash.
- Chew a piece of sugar free gum making a point to allow it to clean your front teeth.
- Munch on an apple or pear. These are natural teeth whiteners.
- Use a straw so that a staining liquid doesn’t come in contact with your most visible teeth.
- Come see us at Apple Dental. Our whitening procedures are pain free and very effective. Contact us now for more information.