Discolored or stained teeth can really strike a blow to your confidence. And while whitening treatments are widely available, when it comes to your pearly whites, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here are some of the top stain-makers to watch out for.
Coffee and tea
While many of us wake ourselves up with a steaming cup of coffee, this habit isn’t doing our teeth any favors. And experts say that tea stains teeth even worse than coffee does. If you enjoy that hot drink just a couple of times per week, though, your chances of seeing stains are much lower than if you enjoy several cups per day. If you’re worried about staining your teeth, try cutting back.
Red wine contains a triple threat to your teeth: it’s high in acid, tannins, and chromogens, all of which cause tooth discoloration. Even white wine, though it doesn’t stain teeth with its own color, contains tannins and acids that make teeth more susceptible to other stains.
When you smoke or chew tobacco, nicotine and tar find their way to your teeth, leaching into holes in the enamel and turning the teeth yellowish-brown. To preserve the health of your teeth as well as your whole body, stay away from the stuff. But if it’s too late, don’t worry—tobacco stains sit on the outer layer of the tooth and can usually be removed.
The tomatoes in pasta sauce are, of course, bright red and high in acid—a combination that doesn’t bode well for your white smile. But eating dark green vegetables beforehand can actually protect teeth by creating a protective film, so serve up a salad with your spaghetti.
While they might be good for your body, the deep coloring in berries makes them dangerous for your teeth. Blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates are among the worst culprits. Make sure to brush your teeth soon after eating berries, or wash them down with a glass of milk, which can neutralize acid.
Dark-colored sodas contain chromogens that stick to your teeth and turn them yellow. Plus, soda’s combination of sugar and acidity makes it extra dangerous for your teeth, as it can also cause decay.
If you’ve already enjoyed a little too much of your favorite food and drink, there’s good news: Sherman Oaks offers cosmetic dentistry in Naperville that can undo years of damage to your teeth. Schedule a consultation today to discuss teeth whitening options.