These Foods and Drinks Are Discoloring Your Smile
Straight, white teeth are considered professional, attractive, and youthful. Discoloration is the most common complaint among people unhappy with their teeth, but it can be difficult to keep your teeth from yellowing, especially if you’re fond of certain foods and drinks.
The Smile Agency Orthodontics & Smile Design in Pasadena and West Covina, California, provides more than just dental care. Karen Guinn, DDS, and her team also provide services like teeth whitening and Invisalign®, which can help you get the smile you always dreamed of.
Preserving the results of your teeth whitening is just as important as the treatment itself. Here are some things you should start avoiding after whitening your teeth.
Tooth discoloration can occur as the result of uncontrollable factors like aging, genetics, and the circumstances of your life. In fact, some level of yellowing is completely natural, especially as you get older. However, many stains can be avoided with proper diet, dental hygiene, and professional care.
Before discussing the effects of food and drink, it’s important to mention that tobacco use is one of the leading causes of tooth discoloration. If you regularly smoke cigarettes or consume tobacco products, there’s no point in changing your diet to avoid discoloration. Ditching the tobacco habit will improve your teeth much more.
You’re more likely to develop stains on the surface of your teeth if you frequently consume certain acid-rich foods and drinks. Acidic substances make the enamel more susceptible to staining by eroding enamel. When you consume dark-colored foods and drinks, they leave behind stains on the now rough patches of your teeth.
You can help minimize stains from foods and drinks by avoiding the following:
- Dark-colored soft drinks, like cola
- Coffee and tea
- Dark beer
- Red wine
- Cherries, berries, grapes, cranberries, and other dark fruits
- Acidic fruits like oranges and pineapples
- Condiments like vinegar, soy sauce, and curry
If you can’t give up coffee for the sake of your teeth, you’re not a bad person. In fact, many teeth-staining substances have health benefits, or they’re just enjoyable.
It’s nearly impossible to avoid all dark and acidic foods, and you’ll be miserable if you attempt it. Instead, you should try to limit your consumption of these foods, and offset the damaging ingredients within them. You can accomplish this by:
- Drinking from a straw, which reduces the amount of liquid that touches your teeth
- Following dark, acidic fruits with milk or hard cheese, which neutralizes the acid responsible for staining
- Adding cow’s milk to your coffee, to protect your teeth from acids
- Eating dark green vegetables before pasta sauce to set a protective film on your teeth
- Combining stain-fighting foods like apples, carrots, lettuce, and celery, with stain-heavy meals
However, just following these tips won’t remove surface stains that have already formed. If you want whiter, brighter teeth, you might be better off getting them whitened before changing your diet. Then, you can preserve the results of your treatment.
We love to give the WOW SMILE FACTOR! Interested in teeth whitening? Need advice on how to keep your teeth clean? Reach out to Dr. Guinn by calling our office closest to you or requesting an appointment online today.