What’s the secret to enjoying the confidence of a beautiful white smile for a lifetime? It’s easy – preventing stains from taking a toll on your pearly whites in the first place!
Contrary to popular belief, even the most advanced teeth whitening products and procedures money can buy don’t produce permanent results. Unless you steer clear of the foods, drinks and lifestyle habits that leave unsightly marks on your teeth, your gleaming white smile won’t be gleaming or white for long.
What Foods Stain Teeth?
Some foods are notorious for staining teeth more visibly than others, such as the following:
- Pasta sauce – In fact, any kind of sauce that’s loaded with acidic tomatoes and a fair amount of red food colouring.
- Food dye – Speaking of which, anything that contains food dye of any kind can do a number on your teeth.
- Berries – Healthy they may be, but (some) berries are loaded with compounds that can leave behind unsightly stains.
- Balsamic vinegar – Not something you’re likely to consume in vast quantities, which is good given its staining properties.
- Curry – The various powders that go into the average curry can turn teeth an unsightly shade of yellow over time.
It’s not that all of the above should be avoided entirely – perhaps just enjoy it in moderation.
What Drinks Stain Teeth?
The biggest culprits on the beverage side of the spectrum are tea, coffee, red wine, soda and anything that contains alcohol. It’s worth remembering that it’s not just the colours of the drinks that pose a threat to your teeth – it’s also how some substances can weaken the tooth’s defences against stains.
Alcohol, sugar and citric acid can all weaken the enamel, making it easier for stains to penetrate beneath the surface and stick around indefinitely.
How to Prevent Tooth Staining
As for keeping stains at bay, the following good-practice guidelines can make all the difference in the world over time:
- Eat more green vegetables. Green veggies are known to leave a protective coating on your teeth after chewing them, which can shield your teeth from the attacks of other stain-happy foods. All the more reason to focus on dietary balance.
- Raw fruits and vegetables. Crispy, crunchy fruits and veggies in their raw form physically clean your teeth as you munch them, while at the same time producing plenty of saliva – your number-one defence against stains and poor dental health.
- Try some cheese. Believe it or not, there’s an enzyme in cheese which has been proven to not only contribute to better oral health, but also neutralise the various acids that can cause stains.
- Stay hydrated. This is less about washing stains out of your mouth, more about keeping your body in optimum condition. You need to be hydrated for your mouth to produce enough saliva to stay clean, safe and healthy at all times.
- Brush at least twice a day. And while doing so, consider using an approved whitening paste and mouthwash. Products like these are designed specifically to remove surface stains and protect the teeth from deeper staining.
- Chew sugar-free gum. Another fantastic way of encouraging your mouth to produce a veritable torrent of saliva, helping retain its natural balance and protect your teeth from potential stains.
- Floss regularly. No excuses – you really need to be flossing on a regular basis for any number of reasons! Along with helping prevent cavities and gum disease, flossing can also remove the kind of hidden debris that could otherwise result in stains.
- See your dentist. Of course, getting your teeth checked on a regular basis and cleaned professionally is a great way of keeping them in the best possible condition.
At Admire Dentistry, we’re committed to offering honest and impartial advice on all aspects of dental health and cosmetic improvements for teeth. We offer a wide variety of services at our independent Family Dental Clinics, where our friendly practitioners are standing by to answer your questions and address your concerns. Call anytime to discuss any aspect of teeth whitening or oral healthcare in more detail, or pop in anytime to meet us in person.