Are Your Favorite Foods Staining Your Teeth?

Are Your Favorite Foods Staining Your Teeth?

What do movie stars, politicians, TV personalities, professional athletes, and your Colorado Springs dentist all have in common? They all enjoy brilliantly bright smiles because each can afford the best teeth whitening procedures available. However, for the rest of us who can’t afford the latest laser whitening treatments to ensure our smiles remain looking their whitest, a little more effort is required to ensure pesky stains don’t dim our teeth’s appearance.

While a variety of factors play a role in determining how bright your smile, what you eat and drink has an enormous impact on the long-term color of your teeth. Although some types of foods and drinks are well known for staining your teeth, it’s a lesser known fact that other types of foods can help keep you smiling brightly.

Teeth Staining Foods

As a general rule of thumb, any food or drink that can leave stains on your clothes or hands can also stain the color of your teeth. Unfortunately, this accounts for many well-loved favorites, including:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks
  • White and red wine
  • Cranberry or grape juice
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Tomato sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Beets

This list just includes some of the many different food and drink types that pose a risk to the color and complexion of your smile when overindulged in as part of your diet. Fortunately, you don’t have to avoid these items entirely if you want to keep a bright smile.

Certain items, like soft drinks, are highly acidic in addition to containing staining agents that necessitate limiting the number you consume daily, while others, like blueberries and tea, just need to be rinsed thoroughly from your mouth after enjoying them. If you enjoy the items on the above list, it’s important to drink a glass of water, chew of stick of sugar-free gum, or brush your teeth shortly after consuming any of these items to help prevent staining from occurring.

Foods that Prevent Tooth Stains

You can also keep from staining your teeth by eating certain foods that help to scrub your teeth clean while you chew. These types of foods also help the mouth to produce more saliva, which works as the body’s natural defense against acidic foods and drinks and helps to wash clean your mouth. Stain-preventing vegetables and fruits include:

  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Hard types of cheeses

Consuming these items as part of or after a meal that contains a lot of tooth-staining foods and drinks can help your smile continue to look great for years to come.

Teeth Brightening Tips

In addition to your diet, there are a number of other tricks you can use to help prevent enamel staining, including:

  • Drinking out of a straw. When you drink tea, iced coffee, juice, or soda, using a straw can help keep these liquids away from the visible front surfaces of your teeth and reduce staining.
  • Rinse after brushing. Plaque, a sticky bacteria that grows in the mouth, provides tooth-staining substances something to cling onto. However, the less plaque in your mouth, the less enamel staining substances can cling to your teeth. By using an antibacterial mouth rinse after brushing, you can eliminate plaque deposits you may have missed when brushing.
  • Quit smoking. The use of any type of tobacco product can permanently stain your teeth and provide you with bad breath.

If you have any questions about the best ways to prevent enamel staining, make sure to ask your Colorado Springs dentist during your next appointment.

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