Having a brilliant white smile is something almost everyone wants. If you practice good oral health but still find yourself hiding your smile due to stained and discoloured teeth, your diet might be to blame. Here are five of the worst food and beverage offenders for staining teeth.
Tea and Coffee
Black tea and coffee are the worst for causing stains. The caffeine in black tea (iced or hot) and coffee can form dark patches on your teeth. If you must have one or the other, opt for an occasional cup of green tea as opposed to black tea or coffee. The green tea also has antioxidant properties, which is beneficial for your health but only if you drink it sparingly.
There are two ways red wine can damage your teeth. First, it contains polyphenols, which stain your teeth. Second, the acidic properties of the alcohol can wear down the enamel on your teeth, which makes them stain more easily. Red wine is thought to be good for fighting inflammation in your body, so an occasional glass is OK. Just make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after drinking red wine it to prevent staining.
If you are concerned about discoloured teeth, one of the worst culprits is tomato-based pasta sauce. Tomatoes are extremely acidic and, along with the red colour, your teeth are a prime target for stains each time you consume a tomato-based pasta sauce. Consider using a white sauce on your pasta or have a salad with dark green vegetables, such as kale, broccoli or spinach, before eating tomato sauce. These vegetables provide a protective film over your teeth that will help reduce the staining effect from the tomatoes.
Balsamic vinegar may taste great on your salad or as a marinade, but it can do a great deal of damage to your teeth. Balsamic vinegar is deeply pigmented, sticky and extremely acidic, which can not only stain your teeth but eat away at the enamel. The less enamel you have on your teeth, the more vulnerable they become to staining and cavities. If you can’t resist a small amount of balsamic vinegar, try to limit it to just a small amount on salads. The lettuce and other leafy greens in the salad will create a barrier against the vinegar.
Berries are a great way to add antioxidants to your morning smoothies. Unfortunately, they also can stain your teeth. Whether you eat them whole, in jellies or blended in a smoothie, deep color berries have the potential to cause the deepest staining. Think blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries. If you’re not ready to give up the antioxidants or the taste of fresh berries, just rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating them to reduce the risk of staining.
A change in your eating habits, proper oral hygiene and making regular visits to your dentist can help prevent tooth stains. If you want to protect your teeth and keep a bright, white smile, it’s important to floss at least once each day to help remove plaque that builds up between your teeth and gums and leads to stains. You should also brush twice per day with a stain-removing toothpaste.
Contact Brewery District Dental to schedule an appointment or to learn more information about other foods that may be preventing you from having the bright smile you covet.