“Smile for the camera!” … Does the thought of showing your teeth make you self-conscious? Do you find yourself shying away from smiling? If you are like most people, you’re probably tired of wondering why you have a dull smile even though you take care of your smile. What you may not know, is that what you eat on a regular basis could actually be the culprit behind your teeth’s lack of shine. That’s right! Certain foods could be the reason why your teeth have that yellowish tone to them.
3 Reasons Why Food Causes Stains:
So your teeth lack luster, but what is it about food that stains them? Tooth enamel is very porous, making it susceptible to stains penetrating its surface – causing that yellowish color. That means the level of color your food has is a big factor behind staining. There are certain food compounds called “tannins” that make their color stick to your teeth enamel. Think of foods that stain your white clothing and can’t come off – it’s the same idea with your teeth. In addition, acidic foods weaken the surface of your enamel making teeth even more vulnerable to stains. Finally, variations in the temperature in the food you consume can be damaging and makes the surface of the enamel easier to stain.
Top Tooth Staining Foods to Avoid:
- Red Wine
- Sports Drinks
- Fruit Juices
- Colored Candy & Sweets
- Popsicles & Slushies
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Soy Sauce
- Pasta/Tomato Sauces
- Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, pomegranates
While some of these foods have good health benefits and are common in your regular diet, they do cause stains in teeth if eaten in excess. Keep this in mind next time you decide to sit down with a glass of red wine. The good news is, you don’t have to give up these foods all together – there are certain things you can do to counter the effects.
Tips for a Radiant Smile:
Since we can’t cut out every food that could possibly stain our teeth, here are a few tips that can help you minimize the degree to which your teeth could be affected:
- Using a straw. Always use a straw when drinking beverages as a way to keep the dark dyes, acidity, and colors away from your teeth.
- Brushing after you eat. Brush about 30 minutes after you eat foods such as berries, or coffee at work.
- Whitening tooth paste. Buy a toothpaste that has whitening for an added boost.
- Rinse your mouth. If you are not able to always brush your teeth after you eat, consider rinsing your mouth to clean it out a bit.
- Visit your dentist. Go in for your regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
Fun Fact: Did You Know there are foods that brighten your teeth?
Yes, there are actually some foods that act as natural whiteners! Some of these foods are apples, spinach, broccoli, celery, pineapple and even strawberries. The most effective is cheese, because it counteracts with acidic foods and helps the pH level in your mouth.
If you need to talk to a dentist or want to have a professional whitening done, visit you dentist to get the best treatment for your oral health.