Eating your favorite foods comes with the responsibility of caring for your teeth between meals. Staining occurs gradually over time, as foods that contain dark colors and sugar cloud the enamel. Surface-level staining, also known as extrinsic discoloration, is very common, but you can counteract the process by monitoring your food and drink selections and other habits.
Here’s our guide to the top five foods and other culprits that can cause imperfections and yellowing.
1. Coffee and Tea
A morning cup of coffee is one of the biggest causes of tooth discoloration. The more often you drink coffee during the day, the greater the potential for staining. There is no need to cut coffee out of your diet completely. Instead of drinking coffee black, consider adding milk or creamer.
Dark teas are also known to stain teeth as they contain tannins. Try to drink lighter varieties to reduce discoloration. You can also drink tea and coffee through a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth.
It is no secret that soda is packed with artificial sugars. Dark and clear sodas can essentially bathe teeth in acid. They also contain sugars that deteriorate your tooth enamel and allow foods to stick to surfaces in your mouth. Consider cutting down on soda consumption if you drink this beverage regularly.
3. Red Wine
Many people like having some wine to relax after a long day, but it’s important to keep in mind that red wine can end up staining your teeth. When enjoying a glass of wine, try to reduce the amount of time that liquid swishes in your mouth to keep teeth free from discoloration. Rinse your mouth out with water or brush your teeth about 30 minutes after finishing your last glass of wine.
4. Blueberries and Tomatoes
Fruits that are rich in color can actually stain your teeth. Although blueberries and tomatoes offer exceptional health benefits, the juices within them can layer your teeth with a thick coating. Remember to drink plenty of water between servings, brush your teeth and consider using antibacterial mouthwash to clean out the spaces between teeth.
5. Cigarettes and Tobacco Products
Over time, smoking cigarettes and using chewing tobacco products can cause teeth yellowing, discoloration and bad breath. Tar and nicotine can stain your enamel. Smoking can also increase the risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer. The best course of action is to quit smoking for the benefit of your oral health.
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Dental Choice offers professional teeth whitening services to patients in Calgary and Edmonton. Our dentists offer the Zoom!® Teeth Whitening System, an in-office whitening procedure. During your initial consultation, we may suggest a hygiene cleaning before proceeding with Zoom!®. Our teeth whitening dentists strive to gauge your dental sensitivity and send you home with custom touch-up trays for use after your procedure.
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Dental Choice offices are located across Alberta. We invite patients to find a location near you to get started with our cosmetic dentistry services. For more information about teeth whitening, contact us or feel free to request an appointment today