Office News |4 min read

Common Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Windermere Dental, Windermere Pediatric DentistHow many times have you knocked over your drink and spilled the dark liquid over your clothes, or dropped a forkful of spaghetti onto your brand new white shirt?   Too many times than you’d like to admit, right?  They cause embarrassing stains, and depending on how dark the stain is, can be a hassle to remove.  While a generous amount of bleach might rid your white tablecloth of its countless stains from red wine, your teeth don’t have it so easy.

Red wine, coffee, and nicotine/tobacco products are commonly known as major causes of discolored teeth.   However, there are foods and beverages out there (even healthy ones) that can cause stains as well.  Here are the ones to look out for:

  • Soda  — Soda is full of acid, and in these carbonated drinks, the acidity is similar to that of battery acid.  Whether you drink Dr. Pepper all day at your desk or stick to clear Sprite, the amount of acid and chromogens (substances that can be easily converted into dye or another pigment) still cause erosion of the enamel.  When enamel isn’t strong enough to protect the rest of the tooth from damage, stains become practically unavoidable.
  • Sports drinks  — When it comes to acidity levels, sports drinks are practically cousinsif not siblingsof soda.  The acid strips away the protective layers of teeth and leaves them defenseless against stains.
  • Wine  As stated above, red wine is known to cause stains, thanks to its acid content and chromogens.  But what about white wine?  Even drinks like Chardonnay have been proven to promote staining as well, especially when followed by a cup of tea.
  • Tea  — Speaking of tea, did you know that when compared to coffee, this healthy beverage is a bigger culprit behind stains?  Black tea is the main villain in this scenario, but herbal, green, and white teas can still be considered evil henchmen, although they are less likely to cause staining.
  • Candy  — Have popsicles, hard candies, bubble gum, and other sweets turned your tongue a funky color?  They might have a similar staining effect on your teeth as well, especially when candies and other sweet treats have coloring-agents in their list of ingredients.  However, if they aren’t consumed on a regular basis and are eaten in moderation, they won’t be too damaging.
  • Berries  — Berries and all sorts of fruit are great to include in your diet and are high in nutritional value.  On the downside, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and other intensely colored fruits/berries (including foods and beverages made from them) can bring upon stains as well.
  • Sauces  — Deeply colored sauces, such as tomato sauce, soy sauce, and curry sauce, can have a significant staining effect on your teeth.

What does this mean, though?  Do you have to cut out all of the above in order to protect your pearly-whites and put the perfect smiles in Hollywood to shame?  Not at all!  When it comes to preventing stains, just remember the three S’s:

  • Windermere Dental, Windermere DentistSip on a straw  — Although you might nix the straw when it comes to coffee, wine, and hot tea, using a straw when drinking other things might be helpful.  The straw helps keep the staining liquids away from the front teeth, which are seen easily by everyone and stains can seem more significant.
  • Swallow swiftly  — Have you ever been told to savor the tastes and flavors of various foods and drinks?  While this is good advice to take, be mindful of how long the stain-causing substances remain in your mouth.  The longer your teeth are exposed to the discoloring ingredients, the chance of staining increases.
  • Swish and spit  — Avoid spreading the acid that causes dental erosion by not brushing your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic substances.  Instead, wait at least 30 minutes so your enamel isn’t as vulnerable to the abrasion from tooth brushing.  Simply swish with water and spit, or chew sugar-free gum after eating to protect your teeth from stains.

Are your pearly-whites not in the best shape that they used to be?  Call us today at 407-614-5955 to schedule your appointment.  At Winter Garden Smiles, we can provide you with various cosmetic treatments to whiten your teeth and perfect your smile.

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