Brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist regularly and not smoking are well-known actions of dental care, but are they enough to keep your choppers white and bright? If you are taking care of all of the aforementioned and still get your teeth stained, you need to avoid the consumption of certain foods and beverages.
Foods and beverages which stain your teeth or help staining are divided into three groups: Those which contain chromogens, intense color pigments; acidic foods and beverages which erode the enamel leaving it vulnerable to become colored by chromogens; and those containing compounds called tannins which facilitate the attachment of chromogens to teeth.
The 7 Major Tooth Color Offenders
1. Intensely Colored Fruits
Fruits like pomegranates, grapes, cranberries, cherries, blueberries and blackberries are enriched with pigments. That is why eating them or consuming foods and beverages, such as pies and juices, made from them, may stain teeth.
Although coffee is richer in chromogen, it is less staining than tea. Black tea stains teeth because it is incredibily rich with tannins which promote staining. Other kinds of tea like white, herbal and green teas are less aggressive in changing the color of teeth.
Whenever you have a food or beverage that changes the color of your tongue, remember that it will probably stain your teeth. Regular consumption of colorful chewing gum, slushies, hard candies or popsicles will affect your teeth. However, if you have one every once in a while; a colorful sweet will contribute minimally in staining your teeth.
Red wine is about the worst beverage your teeth can meet. The red devilish drink is acidic and contains both chromogens and tannins making your teeth face a triple threat. White wine also promotes staining, especially when it is followed by a cup of tea.
5. Fizzy Drinks
Carbonated soft drinks have acidity similar to that of battery acid. Even if you drink a colorless soft drink, the acidity will make your teeth prone to staining by foods and beverages that you will consume later on. The worst offender of the fizzy drinks is cola because it is not only acidic, but it is also saturated with chromogens.
Intensely colored sauces of various kinds like curry sauce, soy sauce and tomato sauce can contribute significantly to teeth staining.
7. Sports Drinks
Like carbonated drinks, sport drinks are very acidic. Again the acid of the sport drinks soften the enamel and make it more vulnerable to stains.
How to Prevent Staining
You may not want to eliminate all the previous foods and beverages from your life as a lot of them are healthy and filled with antioxidants, and the rest are just delicious. Just consume them with moderation and follow the next tips:
1. Drink Water or Chew Sugarless Gum
Brushing teeth directly after eating or drinking something acidic can harm your teeth. Instead, swish the acid away with water or chew sugarless gum that carries the acids away from your teeth. Then you can brush your teeth later. This method is also efficient when you are in no place of brushing and flossing.
2. Sip with a Straw
Drinking cold beverages like juices, cola and iced tea with a straw prevents the staining ingredients from reaching your teeth, especially the front ones.
3. Swallow Quickly
Do not keep foods or beverages in your mouth for too long in order to minimize the exposure of your teeth to staining factors. Beverages are surely easier to drink quickly but you can also chew food until it is swallow-able and swallow it quickly. Just be careful not to choke yourself.