There are many things that contribute to our teeth losing the pearly whiteness of our youth, from foods we eat and beverages we drink, to behavior such as smoking or using chewing tobacco. Luckily, you can avoid or diminish many of the worst offenders by limiting your intake or changing how you use them.
- Coffee: Your morning cup of joe has strong pigments and is high in acids, making it a prime stainer of teeth. Some evidence has shown you can minimize staining by adding dairy milk.
- Tea: Actually worse than coffee for staining, tea is also full of acids and tannins (plant-based compounds that make it easier for stains to stick to teeth). For iced tea, use a straw to bypass your teeth.
- Wine: Reds are the worst, being high in tannins, acids, and with strong pigments. White wine, while not having as strong colors in its tannins, nonetheless preps your teeth for other types of stains because of its high acidity, which weakens tooth enamel and makes it more vulnerable to stains.
- Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates: basically anything that can stain your clothes can stain your teeth.
- Tomato Sauce: As with berries, the stain potential of anything tomato-based is high due to the high levels of pigments.
Fortunately, you can take steps to avoid staining your teeth. Brush your teeth as soon as you can after enjoying any of these drinks or foods, or at least swirl water in your mouth to rinse away staining material. Keep your regular dental appointments for cleanings that can help remove stains.
If your smile seems a bit duller recently, you may want to consider a teeth whitening procedure. For more information on these procedures and to schedule your consultation, please contact our experienced and compassionate dentists at the Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry at 585-227-4390. We have been serving patients in Upstate New York for nearly 35 years.