Doesn’t it seem like everything is working against your smile staying white and bright? Two things that you can’t live without are the two main culprits and those smile demons are eating and drinking. There are however things that you can avoid to help maintain a spectacular smile. Because teeth are naturally porous they have a tendency to trap or attract tiny microscopic particles of food and drink each time you consume something. A good rule of thumb to think about when you are eating or drinking is that if what you are consuming would stain a white cotton t-shirt, it can stain your teeth!
Although there are a lot of food and beverages that can stain your teeth, they tend to be some of the food that are good for your health. Don’t feel like you have to avoid all of the staining foods, but do take these tips into consideration the next time you sit down for a meal.
Water it down! Anytime you eat anything that has high staining potential, be sure to drink a bit of water afterwards to rinse your mouth and teeth. This is especially true after drinking coffee or red wine. If you are a tea drinker, try sipping your tea (hot or cold) through a straw. A straw will help keep the tannins (staining agents) in tea directed toward the back of your mouth, away from your pearly whites.
Don’t brush! Of course we don’t mean skip brushing all together, but it is important to wait a bit before brushing especially after consuming dark colored acidic foods like fruits or tomato sauce. Foods that are high in acid can soften tooth enamel, so by brushing directly after eating or drinking these foods you could unknowingly be harming the enamel on your teeth. So just wait at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth.
Cut back or steer clear of sports drinks and soda/soft drinks. These tasty and addictive drinks have been proven to erode tooth enamel, which will make them stain more easily. The sugar content in these drinks is also harmful for your teeth and overall health. Try substituting water, at least once a day, or at least follow with water if you can’t live without your favorite drink!
If stains have wreaked havoc on your smile, ask Dr. Mitzi Morris about professional teeth whitening options to help you achieve a picture perfect smile.