If having a bright smile is important to you, then we have three simple tips to help you minimize the impact of teeth-staining foods and beverages.
So what is most likely to stain your teeth when you are eating or drinking? Anything that is intensely colored will challenge the brightness of your teeth. Think reds and blacks and purples – items like coffee, red wine or grapes.
Why are dark-colored foods and beverages so tough on the teeth? Primarily because of three reasons: 1) chromogens, which are intensely colored molecules that love to stick to your dental enamel, 2) acid, which both erodes the enamel of your teeth and promotes staining, and 3) tannins, which increase the ability of chromogens’ ability to attach to your tooth enamel.
The worst foods and beverages when it comes to staining your teeth are red wine (although white wine also promotes tooth staining), black teas, sodas, sports drinks, dark sauces, most berries and candy and sweets.
But you don’t have to avoid these foods if you follow these three simple tips to help reduce the impact on your teeth and oral health. After all, a lot of the dark-colored foods and beverages we listed have definite overall health benefits. Many contain large amounts of antioxidants, which help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals (which are a contributing factor to many chronic diseases).
Here are three suggestions to keep your smile bright while still enjoying the health benefits of darkly-colored foods:
Drink through a straw: If you use this simple approach, you’ll avoid flooding your front teeth with beverages that will stain them. You more than likely won’t start sipping your coffee or wine through a straw, but juices, iced tea and colas are definite options.
Promptly swallow. Avoid letting a darkly colored food or beverage sit in your mouth for too long. Of course, you want to savor it, but the longer it stays there before you swallow, the greater opportunity it has to stain your teeth.
Swish away those stains. You can’t always brush right away after eating or drinking, so a good “on-the-go” alternative is to swish with H20. In fact, if you eat or drink acidic foods and then brush your teeth, the enamel on your teeth can suffer abrasions because the acid has softened the enamel a bit.
Along with our three tips you can use when you’re eating or drinking, we recommend you brush twice daily and floss once a day. See your dentist every six months for a check up and dental hygiene visit as well. Follow this plan, and you’re bound to be smiling brightly for years to come.
Source: WebMD and American Dental Association