Discolored teeth are unsightly and can cause one to be self-conscious. Certain foods and beverages are common culprits when it comes to staining the teeth. The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to help transform your teeth into pearly whites that you can be proud of.
Top Tooth-Staining Offenders
Coffee: Itís a morning necessity for many, and also one of the top reasons for discolored teeth. There are multiple reasons coffee stains the teeth, other than the dark color of the beverage. First, coffee is acidic, and acid can damage the toothís protective enamel. Second, as any regular coffee drinker knows, coffee can dehydrate you. So if you sip too much java and not enough water, your mouth will not generate enough saliva which helps to naturally wash out your mouth.
Wine: On the opposite end of the spectrum, that glass of wine you have to relax after a busy day can also stain your teeth. Take note that both red and white wine can cause teeth to stain. While the resveratrol in red wine offers some health benefits, the acid and tannins in the grape-based beverage cause tooth enamel to erode, making your teeth more susceptible to staining. One trick to minimize the damage is by consuming foods which will minimize the acid and help clean the teeth. Try cheese and bread, which are commonly served with wine and can help counteract wineís acidic qualities. Also consider adding fruit like apple slices and vegetables like carrots and celery to your wine tasting spread. These vegetables can actually help fight tooth stains.
Tea: Another beverage with a wide range of health benefits, tea is also a major culprit when it comes to teeth staining. Itís the polyphenols that give darker teas like black tea and Oolong tea their color, and also cause tooth staining. The good news is that white teas and certain green teas that are less processed than black and Oolong teas cause less staining to the teeth.
Soda: Whether it is the diet or regular variety, dark-colored sodas can cause staining of your teeth if you drink the bubbly beverage on a consistent basis. Itís not just the coloring, but the acids in soda that can erode the tooth enamel and encourage stains to adhere to teeth. Take note that clear sodas also contain enough acid to make your teeth more susceptible to staining.
More tooth-staining culprits: Blueberries, cranberries and other dark berries make a healthy snack, but their deep pigments can cause staining of the teeth.
Best Remedies to Keep Teeth White
Brush right after eating offending foods: Whenever possible, brush thoroughly after consuming beverages or foods that are known to stain teeth. If you are at a wine tasting, consider carrying a travel brush with you and clean your teeth once you are finished tasting for the day. Try brushing with a toothpaste containing baking soda.
Stay hydrated: Having enough saliva in your mouth helps it naturally remove residue from your teeth, so remember to drink plenty of water when you are consuming tooth-staining foods and beverages. Also use water to swish your mouth after drinking stain-causing beverages.
Eat teeth-cleaning foods: Certain fruits, like apples and strawberries, and vegetables like celery and carrots can actually help clean your teeth. Eat these foods after consuming foods and beverages that have the potential to stain teeth to offset some of the negative effects.
Drink through a straw: Consider drinking dark sodas and juices through a straw to minimize the damage they can do to your teeth.
Professional whitening: If you are not satisfied with the results of the home remedies you try, consult your dentist about whitening treatments. There are a variety of teeth whitening options available, including bleaching gels and laser procedures. Some dentists offer products that can be used at home.
This is a guest post by Jon Engle. To find a dentist office in your area, consider Monarch Dental with over 400 affiliated dental offices throughout 18 states. Learn more!
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