Americans of all ages and backgrounds appreciate white teeth. A smiling row of white teeth light up a room, seal the deal, win over an interviewer, or open the way for a second date. Yet, do you find that even with a strong routine of oral hygiene — including brushing twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash — your teeth don’t reach the level of whiteness you want? What’s going on?
Old Habits Stain Hard
Common choices in foods and drinks might be keeping you from a whiter smile. Many of them contain acids, chromogens and tannins. These three substances, when mixed together, are potent creators of yellowed teeth. Here’s a list of items that are known to them, or molecules like them, that dull and stain whitened teeth.
Drinks That Stain Teeth
- Coffee – Step into any diner and the first thing they ask is if you want coffee. Most every eatery you can visit offers coffee in one form or another. Many of us enjoy multiple cups in the morning or throughout the day. But coffee has large amounts of staining material. And adding creamer does not reduce the effect! Consider limiting your intake, or at least sipping some water after your coffee to rinse your teeth.
- Tea –Tea is often touted as being better than coffee. Is that true for stains? Truthfully, the answer is no. Teas contain tannins, an aforementioned stain chemical. And it’s not just black teas, but herbal, fruit, and white teas as well. Moderation limits how much tea has the chance to affect your teeth.
- Sodas and sports drinks – Most carbonated drinks we choose have high amounts of acids and food coloring. Either of those alone can stain your teeth or make them more susceptible to discoloration, but together they double up against the whiteness of your teeth. Even without carbonation, most sports drinks are heavy in food coloring and sticky sugar, another tag team against your teeth.
- Red Wine – Do you see a pattern forming? If it can stain your carpet, it can stain your teeth! White wine is better on staining, but has high acidity that erodes tooth enamel, when consumed frequently. And eroded enamel allows other compounds to stain your teeth easier.
Foods That Stain Your Teeth
- Sauces – Heavy tomato, curry or soy sauces offer color for your food, but those pigments transfer to your enamel just as easily. Moderation is key here — not just in portions, but also in frequency. That way you ensure these sauces don’t build up tooth stains. If you use sauces regularly, mix it up with lighter ones — both in color and consistency — adding variety to your diet and giving your teeth a break from the vibrant colors.
- Candy – If it stained your tongue it can do the exact same thing to your teeth. Many popular candies add an extreme sour component for fun, but the citric and malic acids used to give the sour taste compromise your enamel, and now the food coloring more readily sticks to the enamel’s newly roughened surface.
- Berries – Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, and foods like these, are healthy, but also contain pigments that give them their vibrant dark colors. These pigments easily transfer to your teeth. Blending these fruits as ingredients in smoothies and other drinks put your teeth in direct contact with even more of these pigments than they’d meet under normal chewing circumstances.
Help for Stains is Here
If you enjoy any of these foods or drinks, keep enjoying them! You need not remove them from your diet, simply to get whiter teeth. The Placerville Dental Group has several ways to give your teeth a whiter shade. Whether you’re merely looking to remove a slight yellow tint, or you want a Hollywood smile, our office can help you reach your goal. Give our dentists a call or schedule an appointment for a tooth whitening consultation. The Placerville Dentistry Group is the Bane of Stains!