Keeping your teeth healthy and white requires more than just the regular brushing, flossing and dental visits. Care should also be given to what you eat and drink as there are several foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. As a general rule to keep in mind, foods and drinks that have intense coloring will somehow leave color stains on the teeth. That color comes from chromogen – a pigment-producing substance that has the ability to stick to the tooth enamel causing stain on the teeth. Acidic foods or drinks can erode your teeth enamel giving more chances for the chromogen to stick more to the teeth. Tannins is a food compound that helps chromogens stick to the enamel.
The 5 most common teeth-staining foods and drinks are:
- Wine. Red wine will obviously cause stain on your teeth. However, even the white wine is found to discolor your teeth just the same. Wine has high acid contents and this acid softens the tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth immediately after drinking wine can cause damage to the tooth enamel. Dentists advise to rinse your mouth with water after drinking wine and brushing after about 30 minutes to lessen the damage.
- Curry. The wonderful yellow color in curry is given by turmeric. Eating curry foods will give your teeth the same yellow color stain. Curry dish combined with green leafy vegetables will help keep the stain away by brushing the teeth and tongue immediately after eating. Again, because of the health benefits of turmeric in protecting against certain cancers, curry foods should not be avoided.
- Coffee. While coffee is known to be a top stain source, it cannot be completely avoided because of the health benefits it offers. Dentists recommend to brush with toothbrush that has soft bristles after coffee during breakfast.
- Blueberries. These fruits are packed with antioxidants and are good for your nutrient requirements. Hence, blueberries should always be a part of everyone’s diet. The dark colors of the berries, blackberries and raspberries are among the top teeth stain makers. Brushing after eating should be done.
- Sports Drinks. Darker colors will stain more although the real stain-causing ingredient of sports drinks is the acid content. Sugar is also a culprit as it feeds the bacteria that live in the mouth. It is always better to check the acidity and sugar level contents of sports drinks before consuming.
There are foods that stain the teeth but they cannot be totally eradicated in one’s diet because they supply the necessary nutrient our body needs. The intake of this food can be taken at minimum or the consumption can be maintained but proper brushing and flushing should be done as directed above.
If you want to lighten or whiten your teeth, you can always consult your dentist about teeth whitening. There are available teeth whitening solutions in the market, but consulting your dentist about the process will help keep your teeth be on a better state. Usually, it is the cosmetic dental professionals who offer teeth whitening. They have accumulated extra education, which specializes in maintaining or restoring the teeth’s optimal look.