Everyone loves having a bright, white smile. But we all love our favorite foods and beverages, too. Some of the foods we love the best can stain our teeth over time and our smiles are not so bright after a while.
Not to despair! Dr. Perry Patel, the dentist for Arroyo Grande, has some tips for continuing to enjoy both favorite foods and healthy white teeth.
The foods that can stain our teeth include coffee, tea and soda, dark fruit juices, dark-fleshed fruit and vegetables like blueberries and beets, good old tomato sauce, and a couple of odd ones, like soy sauce and balsamic vinegar.
Teeth are porous and will naturally absorb the beverages and liquids that are in food when we sip and chew. Coffee drinkers tend to get brush their teeth first thing in the morning, then sip a cup of coffee on the way to work or at work. Even a couple of cups of coffee or tea a day can eventually stain teeth. Green tea might not stain teeth as much, but it still contains the tannins that are responsible for stains. The colors added to soda, along with the sugar add to teeth stains.
Grape and cranberry juice might help us get servings of fruit, but these two, and red wine, definitely stain our teeth. Darker colored fruit and vegetables indicate they are full of the antioxidants that are so good for us, but at the same, time, those dark colors stain our teeth.
Rather than give up food we enjoy, many of which are good for us, the Arroyo Grande dentist has some suggestions to help minimize stained teeth.
- Brush and floss regularly and as soon after eating or drinking as possible. Prompt brushing removes food particles and excess liquid from the surface of the teeth before the substances have a chance to leave too much residue in our mouths.
- If you can’t brush, use mouthwash.
- Keep a toothbrush, American Dental Association (ADA) approved whitening toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash handy in the car, at work, in your purse or bag.
- Get regular exams and teeth cleanings from your dentist.
If the stains are causing you concern, Dr. Patel’s office offers Zoom! teeth whitening treatments. Zoom! is the safest method for getting back to that bright white smile.
Smoking and chewing tobacco also stain teeth. These are unhealthy habits that damage more than teeth and the ADA and the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Association, and every other medical disease association recommending quitting. For assistance to quit smoking and tobacco, contact your doctor to discover your options.
Some medications cause teeth to yellow, and senior citizens often experience thinning tooth enamel that contributes to yellowing and stained teeth.
Good oral health practices are important regardless of the reason for stained teeth, and Dr. Patel’s office is always available to help with whitening technologies to get that bright smile back!