1) Citrus And Acidic Fruits
Though delicious and packed with nutrients, the same chemical compounds that produce the distinct sourness of citrus fruits can leave you with food stained teeth!
If you’re a fan of lemonade, enjoy sour lime’s with a variety of your favorite summertime drinks, or are a big fan of orange slices with lunch; it’s important to recognize the need for moderating your intake of citrus fruits to protect your teeth!
Consumed regularly enough, it might seem like the yellow of your lemon is staining your teeth! The truth is that with regular consumption; fruits like lemons, limes, grapefruits, etc. dissolve the enamel of your teeth, exposing the yellow-hued dentin of your teeth.
How To Enjoy Citrus Fruits
The acid that citrus fruits leave on your teeth is really only harmful when it is allowed to stay on your teeth in relative quantity.
Anything you can do to remove this acid after consumption will have a substantial impact on enamel degradation. Even just a glass of water after eating an orange or drinking lemonade can wash away significant amounts of acid. Even better, consider a slice of cheese to counteract acidic compounds!
For many of us; a life without Coffee is a life we will not, cannot, conceive of.
While coffee is great for us in the morning to start the day, it isn’t great for our teeth. Like a few other consumables we’ll explore on this list, coffee contains tannins, chemical compounds notorious for their ability to stain.
Coffee is also highly acidic, making it twice as capable of damaging the whiteness of your smile! Not only will it stain your enamel, but it will degrade it, exposing your dentin as well!
The Solution to Preventing Coffee-Stained Teeth
If coffee is a crucial part of your morning, then make it something that happens before you brush your teeth!
By ensuring that you always perform your morning brushing and flossing after you’ve consumed your morning coffee, you can consistently guarantee the absolute minimum possible staining and damage.
If you’re prone to consuming a cup or two of coffee during the day as well, brushing and flossing after is far from convenient. In these situations, a simple glass of water after every coffee can go a long way to prevent food stained teeth, as doing so will rinse away harmful tannin’s and acids.
Few things are more damaging to your teeth than sugar, and candy is little more than concentrated sugar.
Whether your favorite sweets are hard candies, chocolates, gum, baked confections; or even snack foods like granola bars or certain types of yogurt; candies bring tremendous amounts of sugar into your mouth.
Sugar is dangerous because it is the favorite food of all the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Introducing so much of it into the natural microbial ecosystem within your mouth allows decaying bacteria to proliferate rampantly, releasing acids that contribute to accelerated tooth-decay.
Unlike the yellowing caused by citrus foods, the damage sugar leaves is much darker. Leaving brown or even black spots, especially within the hard-to-reach recesses of your teeth, sugar damage is much more unsightly.
What To Do About Candy
The best defense against the damage caused by candy is to moderate your consumption of it. Regular brushing and flossing is always recommended, but is not always enough to protect against the consequences of high candy consumption. Candy gets stuck where brushes and floss cannot always reach, so the only way to be sure you won’t suffer tooth decay from excessive candy consumption is to ensure you aren’t consuming candy excessively!
4) Pop and Sugary Drinks
Candy is dangerous because it is solid, concentrated sugar.
Pop is dangerous because it is liquid, concentrated sugar.
Whereas bits of sugary candy will get lodged in hard to-reach places, the liquid nature of pop means that concentrated sugar will get everywhere.
Those that drink pop and sugary juices/sports-drinks frequently suffer faster and more intense tooth-decay. These liquids act as the perfect delivery device, transporting sugar to every hungry bacteria in your mouth. There isn’t a nook and cranny that pop and juice won’t find it’s way into!
Reducing The Harmful Impact of Sugary Drinks
Like candy, there is simply no better way to limit the harmful effects of sugary drink consumption than simply consuming less of it!
If you or members of your family are big juice drinkers, consider diluting juice with water. This way, they can still experience the same refreshment by not reducing the quantity of liquid they’re used to drinking! This tip is especially useful for those who drink juice while working/playing outside. The body wants water, but often we prefer juice! Diluting allows us to get the same flavor we love, but without the harmful effects of excessive sugar consumption.
Like coffee, certain teas like Earl Grey and Green Tea contain tannins. While not as acidic, the ‘gentler’ nature of tea can lure tea drinkers into a false sense of security.
Many consider tea to be a healthy alternative to coffee, but when it comes to your teeth this is rarely the case. Tea is not as bad for your teeth as coffee, but it is by no means good for them!
The tannin’s in tea will discolor them differently depending on your choice of tea. Green tea will often leave a grayer-color stain, while black teas will leave a yellowish-brown one similar to coffee.
Finding Tea That Doesn’t Stain
Higher quality teas typically do not contain stain-producing tannin levels. Tannin’s produce a very distinct flavour, and often they will be introduced to lower-quality teas synthetically to produce more taste.
Opting instead for higher-quality teas might cost you a few extra dollars come grocery time, but this investment will be well spent when you don’t have to invest in teeth whitening!
Red wine is one of the most well known, notorious, teeth-staining drinks known!
But white wine will stain your teeth as well!
Containing tannin’s in abundant supply, red wine’s impact on tooth color is observable after even a single glass! Tannin’s are part of what makes red wine dark, but they make your teeth dark as well.
White wine doesn’t contain quite as much stain-causing tannin’s, but it is more acidic than white wine. Tannin’s produce the robust bitterness red-wine is known for, but acid makes white wine’s characteristic sweet-sourness!
Protecting Your Teeth From Wine
Cheese goes well with wine for more reasons than just flavour!
On a microscopic level, certain types of cheese can fill the microscopic ‘pores’ of your enamel so that wine cannot penetrate them. Additionally, the ‘basic’ nature of cheese acts as a means to naturally ‘deactivate’ the acid in wine as soon as it touches your teeth.
Cheese with your wine is by no means a perfect solution to tooth staining, but it is helpful! As an additional measure, always remember to drink plenty of water during and after wine consumption to ensure the rinsing of harmful acids and tannin’s.
7) Certain Berries
If a berry is going to stain your shirt, it’s going to stain your teeth.
Blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates are among the worst offenders. These berries might be loaded with nutrients and anti-oxidants, but they’re also loaded with deep-staining pigment that can wreak havoc on a white smile!
Unlike most of the examples above, the stains berries produce aren’t generally a result of tannin’s or acid erosion. Their chemical composition allows them to adhere to the microscopic abrasions on the surface of your teeth, like paint on a car!
Dealing With Berry-Stained Teeth
If you’re eating these stain-causing berries, the best policy is to make sure you do so while drinking plenty of water!
Imagine trying to paint a wall while someone else is spraying it with a hose. By continually drinking water while consuming these berries, pigment will struggle to adhere to the surface of your teeth as you consistently rinse it away!
As a secondary measure for those especially concerned, it’s not a bad idea to consider a quick brush after consumption as well! This way, any pigment that managed to stick around will surely be dislodged before it has a chance to settle in!
The Brightest Smiles With Triadent
Preventing these harmful foods and drinks from staining your teeth does more than just protects the brightness of your smile. It protects your oral health as well.
For those who have learned these tips too late, and are already struggling with food stained teeth, there are a variety of professional and over-the-counter solutions available to bring your smile back to the brightness you want. Find out which are best for you by starting a conversation with a teeth-whitening professional at Triadent.