November 7, 2019
According to a recent survey, nearly half of Americans believe that they could benefit from having a whiter smile. You probably could, too; research shows that people with whiter smiles are perceived as healthier, as well as more attractive and successful. Besides seeing your dentist for a professional teeth whitening treatment, there are other ways to keep your smile bright. That includes avoiding these 6 foods and beverages.
Anatomy of a Tooth
The outer layer of your tooth – called the enamel – is the hardest substance in your body. It protects your teeth from the daily wear and tear caused by chewing, biting, and acid attacks created by bacteria when you consume sugar or starches. Despite enamel being so tough, it can still wear down over the years and expose the yellowish, more sensitive layer underneath, known as dentin. When your enamel thins out, more dentin is exposed, making your teeth appear yellower.
Foods That Stain Teeth
There are many foods out there that can leave behind stains on your pearly whites, rendering them not so white anymore. Some of these items include:
Coffee is one of the most well-known culprits of stained teeth. Even if you dilute your coffee with lots of cream or milk, it still can lead to discoloration.
Many dentists say that tea, especially the darker varieties, can cause even more staining than coffee. They can also wear away your enamel and expose more dentin.
3. Dark Sauces
If it can stain your shirt, it can stain your teeth. This applies to deeply colored sauces like soy, tomato, and curry.
You may have heard that red wine can leave stains on your teeth, which is certainly true. White wine, however, also can. In fact, white wine contains more acid than red, which erodes your enamel, letting the yellowish dentin shine through.
5. Fruits and Berries
Certain fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, pomegranates, cherries, and other vibrant fruits can stain your teeth.
Even light-colored sodas and colas can cause serious stains, thanks to acids and dyes. In addition, the chemicals that are used to add flavor can eat away at your enamel.
How to Avoid Staining
Certain stains can be avoided by making switches. For example, opt for light-colored sauces and teas instead of dark ones. Also, if you’re going to drink any of the beverages listed above, it’s best to sip them through a straw, no matter how strange it might look. That way, the drink will zip right past your teeth, allowing you to drink it before it causes damage.
Other options are better if you cut back or remove them completely from your diet, such as alcohol or soda. Not only will your teeth be in better shape, but your overall health should improve as well. Finally, brush your teeth after consuming staining items to counteract any discoloration.
You can also see your dentist for professional teeth whitening treatment. It’s guaranteed to provide results you can be proud of, and it will work several times better than anything you could buy in stores. Plus, it will offset staining from any of the items listed above!
About the Author
Dr. William Olafson earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Throughout his career, he has accrued hundreds of hours of continuing education to stay on top of the latest techniques and technologies that modern dentistry has to offer. He particularly enjoys the opportunity to help patients achieve their most attractive smiles. One way to do that is through teeth whitening. Contact his practice, Columbian Square Dental in Weymouth, MA, for an appointment by clicking here.
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