HAVE YOUR PEARLY WHITE TEETH GONE YELLOW? Yellowing or stained teeth are one of the most common complaints dentists hear from their patients.
Smoking is one of the worst offenders, but many drinks and foods can also cause staining of your teeth. Here we advise on the top food and drink culprits for stained teeth.
What to Avoid
Red wine is an acidic beverage that contains tannins (as does tea) and is notorious for staining teeth. But white wines can also promote staining due to their acid nature which can soften and roughen tooth enamel. Teeth exposed to tea stain more severely if they have been exposed to white wine beforehand. So don’t think drinking white wine is fine as far as your teeth are concerned.
Like red wines ordinary tea is rich in stain causing tannins. Coffee can stain teeth as well but less so due to it being low in tannins. Herbal, green, and white teas are less likely to stain than regular tea.
Colas are acidic and coloured which means they can cause a significant amount of staining. But all fizzy drinks are acidic enough to promote staining of teeth by other foods and drinks. The fizzy drinks are ‘carbonated’, which means their acid content weakens and softens tooth enamel allowing for easier staining by other food and drinks.
Sports and ‘energy’ drinks
Many of these drinks are highly acidic and so can soften tooth enamel allowing it to stain more easily. They may also contain bright colouring agents which will contribute to staining.
Fruits and berries can be very good for your health but they also can lead to staining of the teeth due to the bright natural colourings and acid content. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates and other intensely coloured fruits can cause stains. Remember its not just the fresh fruits themselves but any drink, cakes or food made from them.
Many sauces contain intensely coloured ingredients and some can have significant staining potential. Sauces such soy sauce, tomato sauce, curry sauce (particularly those containing turmeric), and other any deeply coloured sauce can be culprits.
Many sweets and frozen deserts (like ice lollies) often contain teeth staining colouring agents. Remember if your tongue turns a funny colour eating the sweet its probably staining your teeth!
Top tips for reducing tooth staining
Use a straw
Using a straw when consuming drinks helps to reduce your teeth’s exposure to the staining drinks contents. Using a straw keeps the drink away from the teeth, it will also help to reduce your teeth’s exposure to any sugary content. This helps to reduce your chance of tooth decay. Using a straw is also an excellent option for those using clear orthodontic aligners like Invisalign.
Swallowing quickly after chewing thoroughly stain causing foods will reduce the time they have in the mouth to cause staining. stain-causing foods and beverages quickly is also believed to help protect teeth from stains.
Rinse with water
Rinsing with water after consuming stun causing food and drinks will help to rinse away the staining chemical and help reduce their chance and time to cause staining of your teeth.
Careful with stain-removing toothpastes
Some ’stain removing’ or ’smokers toothpastes can be too abrasive and rough the enamel. While this may remove staining it also make the teeth stain more easily afterwards.
Advice or Questions?
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