You work hard to take good care of your teeth.
You brush twice a day for two minutes each time. You floss daily. And yet you still find your teeth discoloring. What is happening?
Some discoloration is considered a normal part of the aging process. As you age, your enamel thins and allows the yellow colored dentin core of your teeth to show.
There can be some genetic predispositions to discoloration as well as long term effects from certain medications. For example, taking the antibiotic tetracycline (or if a mother takes it while pregnant) can leave teeth stained.
Unfortunately these things are out of your control for the most part.
However, there is one big contributor to discoloration that you can control. Your diet.
Most people know that tobacco causes yellow teeth, among the many other horrific effects. However, there are certain foods and drinks, some of which are healthy for your body in many ways, that can significantly increase the amount of staining and discoloration you see in your teeth.
Here is a quick run down on some of the top teeth staining foods and drinks that may be part of a healthy lifestyle.
Coffee & Tea
You may love your morning habit of coffee or tea, but unfortunately your white teeth do not. Picture the inside of a mug that’s been left overnight with coffee in it. Those same stains are what happens to your teeth with each sip, especially if you sip on the warm drink slowly throughout the day. Dark colas also fall into this category.
If coffee, tea, or cola are a regular part of your day, try enjoying them in one sitting and rinse with water afterward. Better yet is to brush your teeth shortly after.
There are several sauces that would be considered part of a healthy diet that are very staining to your teeth. Soy sauce may seem like an obvious culprit due to its color, however tomato based sauces can also be troublesome. Additionally, sauces or dishes heavy with curry can cause significant staining as well, especially when eaten on a regular basis.
Rinsing your mouth with water after meals that include these sauces can be very helpful. The longer the food sits on the enamel, the more likely it is to stain.
Berries are loaded with health benefits because they are rich with antioxidents. They are also rich with deep colors that can easily stain white teeth. The good outweighs the bad, so keep eating them but try to brush your teeth afterward when possible. At a minimum, rinse your mouth out with water after eating.
People who drink red wine regularly know what it can do your teeth. Taking sips of water in between glasses can be very helpful in minimizing the staining as well as helpful with any potential headache the next morning.
Changing Lives, One Smile at a Time
Dr. Randall Burba is an AACD accredited dentist, practicing in Salem, MA. He considers himself an artist – with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking. Follow Burba Dental Partners on Twitter and Facebook.