Besides keeping your teeth plaque and cavity free, most of us also prefer to have bright, white smiles. They are a great confidence builder and keep you looking your best. A white smile not only comes from properly brushing and flossing daily but can be traced back to our diet.
In this blog post, we'll list some of the biggest food and drink culprits that can lead to tooth discoloration as well as providing additional tips for preventing staining. Coffee and tea, as you might have guessed, are on the list, maybe even at the top. One suggestion is to drink water in between sips or after you enjoy your cup of joe. Another is to add milk to lighten the beverage and to decrease the amount of possible staining.
Here's a few more beverages. You guessed it—wine will stain your teeth. Not just the red or blush, but white wine has acids that can also cause stains. Soda and other carbonated drinks that contain acids and dyes can lead to stains, and are also enamel destroyers due to the high amount of sugar. Would you have guessed, sports drinks? If so, you are on the money! They are quite acidic and can also erode your enamel.
As far as food goes, most dark colored or dyed items can contribute to tooth staining. Examples are tomato sauces and curries. Those juicy fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, and cherries add a layer of discoloration that should be brushed off promptly. Let's not forget candy. Lollipops and hard candy spend too much time in the mouth and often coat the teeth and tongue with colored syrups. Gum with sugar and popsicles are also treats you should avoid or limit.
We mentioned brushing, flossing and drinking water to avoid stains. Using a straw for beverages that stain, or drinking them quickly also helps. If you're serious about brightening your teeth, you can ask us about whitening trays and whitening gels.
Our blog focuses on the cosmetic appearance of your teeth, but these tips to avoid stains will eliminate the particles that lead to plaque and tooth decay as well. Those with traditional braces should pay extra attention to this post, as keeping your teeth clean already has its challenges. We're always happy to share our bright ideas with you. Smile and relax!