7 Foods That Stain Your Teeth
We all want white and bright smiles. Teeth whitening procedures are generally safe and effective, but it is important to keep away from foods that will stain your teeth in the first place. We list the top 7.
1. Your Morning Cuppa
Coffees and Teas are one of the worst stain offenders. The outer layer of teeth are porous, so coloured foods and liquids get in and stay there, causing stains. So avoid black coffee .... try lightening it with some milk. Added milk as a bonus gives you some calcium (good for the bones and teeth). Same goes for teas. Avoid the darker varieties like Earl Grey and English Breakfast. Instead, opt for green, white, and herbal teas. Because they're lighter in color, they won't stain your teeth as much.
2. Red Wine
If it can stain your white table cloth, it is little surprise that it will do same for your teeth. On the upside, however, studies have shown that red wine reduces inflammation, which can help reduce or prevent heart disease, gum disease and certain cancers.
Colas, including the diet ones, are bad for white teeth. Their dark colour stains the teeth, and their acidic nature causes erosion of enamel (the outer touch covering of the teeth) and promotes tooth decay.
Avoid colas where possible, but if you must, use a staw to minimize contact with your teeth, or rinse out with water afterwards.
4. Dark Coloured Fruit Juices
Dark coloured fruit juices, such as cranberry juice, can dull your pearly whites. Opt for lighter colour juices, such as apple juice. Remember though they they are nonetheless still high in sugars and acids, which can still erode on the enamel and cause decay. Rinsing out your mouth with water is always a good idea.
Dentists advise that if you've consumed anything acidic, you should avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Acidic foods and drinks, such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating these types of foods can damage the enamel in its weakened state.
5. Fruits and Berries
Blueberries, blackberries, cherries are packed with "anti-oxidants" and are great health foods. However, their dark colour can stain teeth. That's not enough of a reason to shun them though. Just be vigilant about swirling water around your mouth after you've eaten them.
Opt for paler fruits, like white grapes and apples. They are less likely to cause stains.
They are an essential part of certain foods (think tomato sauce, soy sauce and curries) but these dark coloured sauces can stain your teeth.
Opt for lighter coloured sauces, or remember to rinse and brush soon after eating. Dentists also recommend munching on a salad or dark green vegetables like broccoli before eating a tooth-staining food. Why? Because the vegetables form a protective film over teeth so foods that stain can't seep into your teeth's pores.
7. Candy and Sweets
You would have thought we'd have missed this group of yummy treats, but no. Hard sweets, chewing gum, popsicles, ice creams .... if all these can colour your tongue, they can certainly stain your teeth. The difference is that the colour in your tongue comes off more easily, but the stains in your teeth tend to remain. Other than staining teeth, we all know that they can cause dental cavities as well.
A treat once in awhile probably won't do too much harm. Just remember to rinse and brush afterwards.