Proper oral hygiene is of course indispensable for maintaining a bright smile but if your smile isn't as bright as you'd like, think about what you put in your mouth. You can stain your teeth if you smoke or if you eat or drink certain things, and it's more likely to happen as you age. But once you know what to eat and what to do to prevent staining your teeth, you can keep your pearly whites bright and shiny.
1. Acidic and Citrus Food
Acidic and Citrus Foods break down the enamel to expose the dentin yellow-ish tissue beneath the enamel that is made up of calcium and phosphate crystals.
To all coffee-lovers out there, I'm sorry. Coffee contains tannins that results in staining and discoloration. It’s also acidic, altering the pH balance of the mouth. What does this mean? Other acidic foods will damage your teeth even more quickly.
According to Colgate, the darker the tea, the more likely it will stain your teeth. Herbal and white teas can still wear away the enamel of and cause stains, too.
Sweets can change your tongue's color, which means they can also stain your teeth. But unless you eat them frequently, you'll probably be okay.
5. Curry and Tomato Sauce
They may be tasty, but curry and tomato sauce are major teeth stainers. Not only are curries and tomato sauce highly saturated, colour-wise, but they’re also acidic. Try using light-colored or creamy sauces. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth soon after eating.
6. Sports and Energy Drinks
Sports or energy drinks can erode enamel as well, leaving your teeth more vulnerable for stains. The citric acid in the drinks not only serve as preservatives enhancing flavour and shelf life, it's also eroding your enamel.
It's true. The acid and tannins contained within red wine are the main contributors to staining. Wine is an acidic beverage – just like coffee, tea and soda – so it promotes enamel erosion. Do you think white wine is a safer bet than red wine? Don't be fooled by the lighter colour. The acidity level is still there.
The dark compounds in dark-coloured soda drinks cause staining on the surface of your teeth. Your tooth enamel absorbs these compounds, causing brown or yellow discolouration. Once again, acids and dyes are the culprits.
So what should you do?
Now you know how these foods and drinks could be staining your teeth. But don't worry just yet - there's no need to cut all of these out of your life. Instead, I'd suggest cutting back. Try using straws for drinks (and lid for coffee), and swallow food quickly so that the evil agents don't have time to get to your teeth. Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth ASAP, and hopefully you'll be able to prevent some discolouration.
Keep Smiling Bright
A healthy diet and a change of habits can prevent tooth stains and preserve your pristine smile. Do enjoy your favorite food… life’s too short! But use caution. Moderation is key when it comes to foods and drinks that discolour your teeth.
Stay on top of your brushing and flossing, too. Flossing helps remove the pesky plaque that builds up between teeth and the gum line and attracts stains. Brushing removes food particles before they have the chance to cause a stain. Use stain-removing Chaco Polish, or inquire with your dentist about available professional tooth whitening options.