Are your pearly whites tarnished? Of course, particular food and beverages are to blame, but do you know what it is about them that causes staining? Generally, whatever can stain your clothes may stain your teeth. However, there is more to it.
Why Things Can Stain Teeth
The main culprits are tooth enamel porosity, chromogens, tannins, acids and temperature changes.
Tooth enamel is porous, allowing dietary molecules to penetrate its surface, giving it a yellowish hue. Certain foods and beverages are more impactful. When they penetrate the surface, they quickly leave their mark.
Such eats contain chromogens, which can discolor teeth, or tannins, which enable the food’s color to attach to tooth enamel.
Next, anything with acids can erode teeth, weakening enamel and making teeth more susceptible to stains. Finally, temperature changes in food can also damage enamel.
So, which food and beverage choices are among these high-stain-risk offenders? Anything in the list below! If you want to keep your teeth as white as possible, steer clear of the following items.
Top Teeth-Staining Foods
Maintaining a brilliant grin is simple. It is all about what you put in your mouth. Avoid eating or drinking the following things as much as possible:
- Tomato-based sauces (pasta sauce)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Ketchup and pickles
- Colored Candy & Sweets
- Popsicles & Slushies
- Dark-colored fruit juices
- Black Tea
- Red wine
- Sports drinks
Note: Some of these items (like the berries and beetroot) contain essential vitamins and minerals, so you do not want to eliminate them from your diet entirely.
Tricks to Avoid Stains if You Do Eat Teeth-Staining Foods
In addition to prevention, there are a few good tricks to avoid stains if you consume these foods. Most importantly, brush your teeth at least twice a day, but preferably every time after you eat if you are striving to keep your smile sparkling white. Other helpful practices include:
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating.
- Drink milk after eating acidic food.
- Use a straw for colored drinks.
- Chew xylitol-containing gum. It can help increase salivation, which helps clean the mouth.
- Consume crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots and celery to increase saliva and remove stains naturally (especially when eating teeth-staining foods like curry or balsamic vinaigrette).
- Eat a salad containing dark greens like spinach, kale or broccoli before pasta with tomato sauce. These vegetables leave a thin film over your teeth, protecting them from tomato stains.
- See your friendly dentist at Just Brush My Teeth twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
If All Else Fails, There is Always Teeth Whitening
If you try your best, but your teeth still become yellowish, Just Brush My Teeth can help you get them white again. Call our practice to make an appointment today. You can regain your dazzling smile and keep it that way for a long time now that you know how!