You may not want to hear it, but the foods and beverages we enjoy the most are the worst for achieving and maintaining a great smile. If it can stain your white shirt, chances are it’s going to stain your teeth as well. Tooth discolouration is inevitable, but this does not mean it can’t be prevented. Keep your pearly whites in tip top condition by avoiding or consuming less of the following:
Even though tea is considered a healthy beverage, it may not be the best choice when it comes to keeping your teeth white, especially the basic black variety. In fact, tea is said to cause more staining than coffee. Even herbal teas and white teas have the potential to erode enamel and cause tooth staining.
As delicious as they may be, deeply-coloured sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce and curry sauce have significant tooth-staining potential. Opt for lighter cream sauces instead for less damaging options, and always rinse or brush your teeth after eating to avoid teeth staining.
Acidic beverages can lead to tooth discolouration, especially highly acidic drinks such as sports and energy drinks. These beverages can erode tooth enamel, setting the stage for teeth staining. Limit your intake of these drinks and drink water instead. Water is not only good for your teeth, but is a healthier alternative.
If a food or drink has the ability to stain a tablecloth, without a doubt it has the potential to stain your teeth. Red wine, an acidic drink with intensely pigmented molecules called tannins and chromogens, is notorious for staining your teeth. White wine is even more acidic and can lead to stains too.
Due to its intensely pigmented molecules, which stick to dental enamel, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, and other vibrantly coloured fruits can stain your teeth. Juices and pies made from those fruits can also cause teeth stains. Consume fruits with less pigmentation such as white grapes and white cranberries. These fruits may reduce your chances of teeth discolouration, but can still harm your teeth enamel because of its acid content. So, always make sure to brush and floss your teeth as soon as you’ve finished eating.
Soda, Cola and Other Carbonated Drinks
Whether they’re dark or light in colour, sodas can lead to serious teeth staining. They contain enough acid to encourage staining by other foods and drinks. The acidity in some carbonated drinks is so intense that it can be compared to the acidity in battery acid. Many of these beverages also contain flavoured additives, which can add to their erosive effects.
Candy and Sweets
If it makes your tongue change colours, it may contain teeth-staining colouring agents. Cut down on your consumption of these goodies and you won’t have to worry about your teeth getting stained.
Minimize Teeth Staining
Cutting ALL teeth staining foods and beverages out of your diet is unrealistic. Many are rich in antioxidants and nutrients, so keeping them in your diet is a good idea. Eat them, but do so in moderation. To minimize teeth staining, here’s what you can do:
- When drinking your favourite beverage, use a straw to sip on your drink. This should keep teeth-staining drinks away from your front teeth and reduce your risk of unsightly stains.
- Don’t let teeth-staining foods and beverages linger in your mouth for too long. Swallow them quickly to help protect your teeth from stains, but make sure you chew your food well before swallowing, and be sure not to gulp.
- Swish your mouth with water as soon as you’ve eaten a teeth-staining food or beverage, and brush well after every meal. If you can’t get to your toothbrush, chew a piece of sugarless gum right after eating.