Who does not want a gorgeous smile? The beautiful smile is the most attractive aspect to a face. Maintaining your ‘pearly whites’ does take some effort. Staining of teeth or yellowish teeth is a concern for most. Many foods and beverages we use everyday can stain your teeth. Although, you cannot avoid these foods fully, you can limit their intake to prevent teeth staining.
What causes teeth staining?
Tooth discolouration can be ‘Intrinsic’ or ‘Extrensic’.
These are either tooth defects, cavities or discolourations caused because of fluoride or certain medications. Intrinsic stain are incorporated ‘into’ your tooth structure. Your dentist will help you in correcting these defects with treatment procedures like tooth bleaching, composite fillings, veneers or crowns.
These are usually surface stains of teeth are because of the pigments in the food we eat. Certain chemical compounds in bright coloured foods called chromogens can stain teeth. Tannins present in tea and coffee have a tendency to stain teeth. Acids in certain foods weaken your teeth, making it yellow.
12 Common foods and drinks that can stain teeth
Beverages. Black Tea and coffee are high in tannins, which can stain teeth. You cannot avoid you cup of tea or coffee completely. But you can rinse your mouth afterwards to avoid staining. Also for all of you who love black coffee, you can add some milk to counteract the staining.
Red wine. Red wine contains the pigment anthocyanin, that gives the wine its rich colour. But unfortunately, this pigment can stain your teeth. Also the tannins in the red wine can bind the stain on to your tooth surface. The acids in red wine can make your tooth enamel porous facilitating the stain to stick. You can avoid red wine standby following these precautions
- The plaque on your teeth can retain the stain from the wine. Ensure you brush your teeth a half an hour before drinking wine to remove the plaque.
- Do not mix red wine and white wine. The acidity in the white wine can weaken your tooth enamel further.
- Switching your mouth with water after drinking wine can reduce the acidity, increase saliva flow. Saliva acts as a buffer to neutralise the acids and maintain the mouth ph.
- Chewing on food, especially cheese reduces the acidity and increases salivary flow.
Cola drinks. These have dark colouring agents that can stain teeth along with the acids that weaken teeth. Soda and carbonated drinks also have zero nutritional value. It’s best to avoid these drinks.
Beets. This is a superfood for your heart. However, the bright colour in the beet caused by a pigment beatnin, can stain teeth especially in the juice form.
Chocolate. The tannins in chocolate stain teeth. Chocolates are also sugary foods that cause tooth decay. Fortunately, chocolate treats can be washed away easily by drinking a glass of water. Dark chocolate could be a better option as they are rich in anti oxidants. Because of the sugar and calorie content, chocolates are to be eaten in moderation only.
Soya sauce.The dark colouring of soya sauce leaves behind a stained teeth.
Tomato sauce. Tomatoes are a great source of many nutrients. The bright red colour and the acidity in tomato sauces can stain teeth.
Berries. Blackberries, blue berries and raspberries stain teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating these fruits an prevent teeth staining.
Nuts like almonds and walnuts can stain teeth.
Curries. These contain strong, deep colouring ingredients like turmeric and tamarind. The naturally deep yellow pigment can stain teeth over a period of time.
Balsamic vineger. This can make a tasty salad. But the deep pigmentation in the balsamic vinegar means that you need to watch out for the after effects.
Fruit juices. Juices made of dark coloured fruits like grape, blueberry or cranberry are liable to leave behind a stained teeth.
Limiting the amount of deeply pigmented foods can prevent staining of your teeth. However, meticulous oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing, good plaque control measures go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy. Regular check ups with your dentist and professional clean ups with your dental hygienist is mandatory for a healthy mouth.