Food That Stains Your Teeth
Everyone wants a bright, white and attractive smile. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that over time, our teeth naturally become discolored. Unfortunately, this can leave us feeling less than satisfied with the appearance of our teeth, sometimes so much so that we go out of our way to try and hide them from those around us. This can mean refusing to smile in photographs, covering our mouth with our hand when we talk or even avoiding eating in public.
Research shows that people with whiter teeth are perceived as being smarter, more socially competent and more attractive so perhaps it is little wonder that so many of us are turning to teeth whitening procedures in a bid to keep our smile looking as bright and white as possible.
What causes tooth discoloration?
Dental discoloration usually has one of three causes.
Intrinsic causes: these refer to changes within the inner structure of the tooth that causes it to darken such as having taken certain antibiotics, trauma to the tooth or too much exposure to fluoride at a young age.
Extrinsic causes: this refers to discoloration that happens to the outer layer of the tooth, known as the enamel. Extrinsic causes of tooth staining include certain foods, drinks and smoking.
Age-related causes: these usually combine intrinsic and extrinsic causes, as well as factoring in age-related changes. These include the enamel thinning as we get older, and the natural yellowing of dentin, which is the middle layer of our teeth.
Extrinsic causes of tooth discoloration are by far the most common. Fortunately, by avoiding the foods and drinks that cause staining to occur, we can help prolong the appearance of our smile for longer.
Foods and drinks that stain your teeth
Unfortunately, there are many different foods that can stain your teeth. While you don’t need to avoid these entirely to keep your teeth looking great, you certainly will want to think about limiting your intake, as well as ensuring that you brush your teeth well as soon as you can after consumption.
Some of the foods that will cause your teeth to become discolored include:
Citrus and highly acidic foods. These are more likely to erode the enamel covering the teeth and expose the yellower dentin underneath.
Coffee. While you may rely on your coffee to kickstart your mornings, our favorite hot drink contains tannins. Tannins, officially known as acidic polyphenols, have the ability to discolor and stain your teeth.
Red wine. Like coffee, red wine also contains high levels of tannins that can cause staining.
Dark fruits. Blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates may taste delicious, but they are also well known for causing dental discoloration, especially if eaten in high quantities.
Tea. Another tannin-rich beverage, tea can turn your teeth a range of different hues. For example, excessive green tea consumption can make your teeth appear grey, while drinking black tea actually causes your teeth to look yellower than normal.
Candy. We all know that candy is bad for our teeth in terms of decay, but did you know that decay can cause unsightly dark holes to develop in the enamel of your teeth? You do now.
Figuring out which products will stain your teeth is easier than you might think!
Think of your teeth as being like a white shirt. If you were to spill something that leaves a hard-to-remove stain on your shirt, chances are it will also have a discoloration effect on your teeth.
If you would like more information on tooth discoloration or would like to discuss your options with regards to tooth whitening, our knowledgeable and friendly team would be happy to assist. Please telephone our offices with your query or to schedule an appointment.