We all want to prevent our pearly whites from being discolored or stained, especially after a visit to the dentist or orthodontist. The folks at WebMD put together a list of seven food types to be careful with. Some of them may surprise you! Here they are…
Number 1: Spots of tea…and we mean spots!
According to Ad Age, Americans consume 10.3 gallons of tea per capita, per year. Many teas are considered healthy, or can give you a boost. But when it comes to your teeth, a spot of tea can turn into a spot on your teeth. Dentists say black teas have even more staining power than coffee. Herbal and white teas degrade enamel and cause stains. Solution? Drink less tea, brush immediately after a cup.
Number 2: Saucy – and Stainy!
Soy, tomato, and curry sauces have beaucoup staining power. It’s advisable to choose light-colored or creamy sauces, or brush and rinse soon after eating.
Number 3: “It’s the drink, Old Sport!”
Sports or energy drinks contain acids that can destabilize enamel, making it more susceptible to stains. Drinking water during workouts is a better choice.
Number 4: Stop whining about the wine!
If a food or drink can stain a tablecloth, it can stain your teeth. It’s no surprise that red wine, an acidic drink known for its dark, rich color, will discolor teeth. But white wine, which has even more acid, can have the same effect.Go figure.
Number 5: Fruits and berries can be the pits for your teeth.
Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, and other vibrant fruits can really make a mark on your smile. Juices, cookies and pies made from these fruits can do the same. Choose paler fruits, like white grapes and white cranberries – but even these contain enamel-damaging acid. Again, clean your teeth soon after you eat them!
Number 6: The Fizz that refreshes…and stains!
It’s not only the sugar and stomach damage that make carbonated drinks a danger to your health. The acids and dyes in soda can can be a stain on your smile – yes, even the light colored ones. Plus, flavor-producing additives can also compromise your enamel. Advice: Wean yourself off these hazardous drinks.
Number 7: Candies crackle your white smile!
If your favorite candy can change the color of your tongue, it can do the same to your teeth, though you have to eat a lot of it to actually produce stains, but cavities are another story.
Some great advice…
Eat, But Less, and Less Often – Foods like fresh berries and tomato sauces have healthy antioxidants. The trick is to eat them less often, then substitute with foods that have the same level of nutrition, but don’t have the same staining ability.
Use a Straw – Sound strange, but stain-causing liquids can actually avoid contact altogether with your teeth, simply by using a straw.
Swallow Swiftly – We don’t want to seem like kill-joys but please don’t let stain-causing foods linger in your mouth. Swallow as quickly as you can.
Like all things in life, it comes down to balance. By changing your diet habits, you can live healthier and keep your teeth whiter! Ask your dental practitioner for more advice.