With all the many temptations that surround us each day keeping your teeth beautifully white is tough order. The obvious things that play a huge role in discolored or stained teeth are smoking or chewing tobacco. These are only a small part of the many foods or beverages that we consume that have an effect on the color of our teeth.
Foods and drinks with intense color seem to be the biggest culprits in changing the color of your teeth. Chromogens are chemical compounds used to give the color to what we eat and drink. These heavily pigmented molecules have a bad habit of hooking on to the enamel on our teeth.
When we are eating foods or drinking beverages they produce lots of acids in our mouth. As the acids wear away the enamel it is easier for chromogens to attack our teeth and stain them. To make matters worse, an organic substance known as tannin, a derivative of garlic acid, helps the chromogen’s molecule by allowing it to more easily attach to your tooth’s enamel. Here is a list of the worst food and beverages for staining teeth:
- Fruit/berries – cranberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes; the darker the fruit the greater the stain damage it causes. This includes juices or other drinks made from them.
- Soda – too much acid and loaded with chromogen. People who drink a lot of soda are more likely to get stained teeth.
- Sweets/desserts – the obvious reason is the sugar. It allows acids to run loose in your mouth along with the coloring agents added to them. “A rule of thumb” if your tongue turns a weird color it is often not good for your teeth.
- Wine – we know this one will bother a lot of people, but red wine is an acidic drink that has tannins and chromogens in it.
- Tea – has plenty of stain making tannins and causes more stains than coffee. Black tea is the worst with herbal, white and green teas staining much less.
To help prevent staining, use moderation in the foods and beverages that stain the most. Other dental tips are swallow promptly, don’t let stain causing food or beverages linger in your mouth. Using a straw helps to keep staining drinks away from teeth, or just swish some water around in your mouth or chew sugarless gum after drinking or eating. This can help remove stain causing particles.
Regular brushing and good general oral health care are great ways to keep those pearly whites looking great!
Making regular appointments at Dr. Thompson’s office for thorough cleanings puts you on the right track to maintain stain free teeth.
Kierland Dental Center provides multiple options for teeth that are stained:
- In office teeth whitening
- Tooth colored composite restorations
- Minimal prep veneers
- Micro-abrasion – surface discoloration can be removed simply with this process if patient is a candidate
So, if you are tired of looking in the mirror and seeing discolored or unsightly teeth; call the dental professionals at Kierland Dental Center for a complimentary consultation. You will be glad you did! 480-556-0310