What causes tooth discoloration and yellowing? While there are lots of underlying reasons for stained teeth from genetics to how you brush your teeth, one of the biggest culprits is highly pigmented food and beverages.
Your daily coffee or favorite soda may be hindering your efforts to whiten your teeth. Foods and drinks with high acid content and dark pigments can leave stains on your teeth, causing them to look yellow or discolored.
Keeping your consumption of these 7 foods and beverages to a minimum can help you keep your teeth sparkling and white:
While many of us need coffee to get moving in the morning, it’s not doing your teeth any favors. Coffee contains a chemical compound called tannins that can cause color compounds to stick to your teeth!
2. Red Wine
Foods and drinks that are highly acidic, like wine, can open up the pores in the enamel of your teeth and roughen their surface. This makes the dark pigment settle in and create a stain on the enamel.
3. Black Tea
Tea contains tannins much like coffee does. Casein, a protein found in milk, can help neutralize the tea’s ability to stain your teeth. Try adding 2% milk to your next cup of tea!
You’re probably not surprised to see soda make the list. Sugary drinks like soda, especially dark cola, can not only stain your teeth but also begins to erode the enamel. This allows the dentin of your tooth, a darker, naturally yellow layer underneath the enamel, to show through and cause your teeth to appear yellow.
5. Tomato Sauce
Everyone loves pizza– everyone but your teeth, that is! Tomato sauces are both bright in color and high in acidity, the perfect combination to stain your teeth. After enjoying your slice or a big plate of spaghetti, rinse your mouth with water. This can help remove the sauce from your teeth and lessen its effect.
6. Balsamic Vinegar
The high acid content in balsamic vinegar can make this tasty salad dressing to a prime candidate for our teeth-staining watchlist. Couples with its dark pigmentation, balsamic vinegar can cause staining on your teeth.
7. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce also contains dark pigmentation and is acidic, the one-two punch to stain your teeth. Consuming soy sauce in moderation can also help maintain a sparkling smile.
You can still enjoy these foods in moderation while keeping your teeth clean and healthy. Here are a few tips:
- Brush your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day and as recommended by your dentist.
- Eat plenty of crunchy fruit and veggies like carrots, celery and apples as these are thought to be natural stain removers.
- Sip dark and sugary drinks through a reusable straw rather than straight from the glass to keep the beverage from washing over your teeth.
- Take up chewing gum with xylitol, as it increases saliva production which can clean your mouth.
- See your dentist as regularly as advised, and make sure to keep to your regular cleaning schedule.
If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, call Dental Choice for professional assistance. We strive to provide reliable dental services at an affordable price, and make sure you walk away feeling your best. Request an appointment today!
Sylvia Marshall is a Registered Dental Hygienist with Dental Choice.
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