How to Prevent Dental Stains
With all the foods and beverages readily available to us night and day, there is almost nothing to stop us from eating what we want, whenever we want, however often we want. But, maybe you’ve noticed your teeth looking a little less sparkly than they used to and you’re wondering how you can keep your teeth pearly white. The only way to truly prevent dental stains is to avoid what’s staining them in the first place, which is basically hidden in whatever you consume daily.
You’ve probably heard of a few foods that are sure to stain your teeth over time, but the list is a little longer than most realize. The main groups of foods and beverages to avoid are acidic, sugary and deeply pigmented foods.
That coffee in the morning may have a reputation for staining teeth, but it’s merely taking the brunt of the attack. Coffee is acidic, which will demineralize your teeth, weakening the enamel and causing the teeth to become translucent. This makes the yellow-brown dentin show through from beneath the enamel and give your teeth a yellowish hue. Not only do acidic foods erode the enamel of your teeth, they also soften it, causing your teeth to be more prone to erosion than they were before. Yes, coffee may be one of the top stain-inducing beverages you know of, but there’s actually more than you think. Teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, sodas and wines are all acidic and wear away that precious enamel. So, protect your enamel and keep your teeth strong by avoiding as many acidic foods as you can.
Eating sugary foods only encourage the buildup of bacteria in your mouth, which will also wear away and soften the enamel on your teeth. Of course, we’ve all been told that sugar isn’t good for your pearly whites. We may even have been threatened with more cavities when we excitedly unwrap that lollipop, but those warnings exist for a reason. Sugary foods really do encourage more damage to your teeth than most other foods.
Deeply Pigmented Foods
Deeply pigmented means exactly what it sounds like: foods that have a lot of color packed into them. It makes sense for heavy color to make its mark on your teeth and this doesn’t only mean foods that are artificially colored. Some berries are major offenders in the ways of dental staining, especially when they have been crushed or blended. Maybe you like to eat a little dark chocolate for health, but it also has staining potential. Red wine, teas, sodas and energy drinks are some good products to avoid as well as colored sauces, like tomato sauce or soy sauce. If it looks full of color and ready to stain, then it’s probably best to avoid it as much as possible.
So, maybe you looked through all this and realized that you just can’t give up those favorite foods. Is there still some way to prevent that awful staining? If you just can’t give up your favorite daily soda, then there are still some things you can do.
- After eating any sort of staining or damaging foods, rinse your mouth out real quick so get as much of it out as you can.
- For your favorite beverages that pack some unfortunate staining, drink out of a straw. It may be unacceptable to use a straw for some drinks, but for what you can, go ahead and slip one in.
- After a meal, eating a piece of cheese or drinking some milk will counteract the effect of the acid in some foods while also strengthening your teeth.
So, even if you can’t break away from your dietary routine, you can do a few other things to minimize the staining your teeth, especially if you just whitened your teeth and want that nice white surface to linger. But, don’t whiten your teeth too often, as your teeth may take on a grayish color, which is probably not what you’re going for. If you’re unsure of what foods you can eat or what you can do to prevent dental staining, just ask your dentist for advice. It’s always better to ask a dental professional about what’s good and bad for your teeth and ensure that you’re keeping great dental health.