How to Enjoy Foods that Stain Teeth Without Worry?
When speaking with someone, often, the first thing we notice about their appearance is their teeth. And this is no secret, and it's probably why we're often most conscious about the appearance of our own teeth. From poorly aligned smiles to chips and cracks to food stuck in between and stains, there's always this voice in the back of our minds that reminds us that the appearance of our teeth may be the first and last thing other people notice and remember about us. In this article, we'll be going over the most common foods that stain your teeth, why they do and how to prevent them.
The Most Common Food and Drinks that Stain Teeth
Certain foods and drinks, especially the deep-coloured ones get their appearance from a chemical compound called chromogens, and this is what gets transferred to our teeth when we consume these foods. Others contain a substance called tannin, which makes your teeth more susceptible to staining. Additionally, acidic foods can wear down the enamel, increasing the rate of staining. As a general rule: if your food or drink is highly likely to stain your linen, it can likely stain your teeth as well. Here's a list of the most common foods that can stain your teeth:
Coffee and Tea
While tea is generally good for the health, it's not the best when we're trying to keep our teeth a healthy shade of white. Coffee and tea—more in tea—contain tannins which are directly linked to teeth discolouration. Additionally, different teas can also stain your teeth with different hues. Herbal teas can also contribute to the wearing away of your enamel and exacerbate the staining process.
Fruits and Berries
The vibrant colours of certain varieties of berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and pomegranates, get their tint from a high concentration of pigment. The same pigment that gives them their vibrance can get trapped somewhere on the surface of your teeth and eventually change the natural white colour. Their natural acidity also contributes to their process by softening or weakening enamel, exposing the underlayer to more staining chemicals.
Remember that we said that if something can stain your clothes or tablecloth, it can also stain your teeth? This is a perfect example of that general rule. The rich dark colour of red wine can easily stain your teeth. And white wine is not out of the picture as well. White wine's increased acidity can create pockets on the surface of your teeth which can let staining compounds settle in deeper.
Pasta sauce stains your teeth in two synergistic ways. The acidity of the tomato exposes your teeth's pores allowing the rich red colours of the tomato sauce to dig deep into those pockets, making them more difficult to rinse out.
Sodas and Carbonated Drinks
Same as pasta sauces and wines, sodas are acidic. The acidity can weaken or damage your teeth's enamel, exposing the underlying surface, and the rich dyes of these sodas can leach into them. Not to mention too much sugar is generally bad for your teeth.
What Foods Stain Teeth?
While we can't mention all of the teeth-staining foods out there, the ones above are the most common culprits. If we look at each of them, we'll see what they have in common. They are richly coloured—either naturally or artificially—and they're on the acidic side. So, remember. If it can stain your clothes, they can stain your teeth. If it's rich in colour and acidic, you need to take precautions.
How to Prevent Food Stains on Teeth
Just because certain foods can stain our teeth doesn't mean we should avoid them entirely. We can still enjoy the health—and soul—benefits of yummy food while staying on top of our oral health. Here are some tips to minimise staining from colour-rich and acidic foods.
Rinse your Mouth with Water Directly after Exposure
Cut Back on Consumption, including the Frequency of Consumption
Drink Through a Straw
Swallow Swiftly to reduce the Duration of Exposure
Pair Them with Crunchy Food that Boosts Saliva Production
Maintain Effective Oral Hygiene Habits, including Brushing 2-3xday with a Fluoride Toothpaste
See Your Dentist Regularly
Professional Teeth Whitening Sydney
If you notice that your teeth have noticeable stains or are starting to show signs of surface discolouration, you'd be delighted to learn that Pinnacle Dental Group offers professional teeth whitening in our Sutherland Shire clinic. We'll do our best to restore them to their natural shade (or even whiter if you prefer).
We offer both in-clinic whitening services done by a professional and home whitening kits you can use at home. Please get in touch with us to discuss your options or to set an appointment for professional teeth whitening and teeth cleaning services.