Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Which Foods and Drinks Will Stain Teeth?

Having an attractive smile is something pretty much everyone wants, right? And people will often go to extremes to make sure their teeth stay pearly white. From expensive whitening treatments to even more expensive veneers, there are plenty of avenues for achieving a bright, white smile. However, if you want to avoid having to shell out thousands of dollars for dental enhancements that eliminate or hide stains, you can be proactive by avoiding the following foods and drinks.

1. Coffee

Coffee may be the one thing you think you can't give up, especially first thing in the morning. But if you want to keep your smile as white as can be, avoid consuming coffee as much as possible. If kicking coffee cold turkey is too much, just try to avoid dark roast coffees, as they are the more likely to stain teeth. You can also add milk or cream to dilute the dark pigment, but we can't guarantee this will keep stains away.

2. Tea

Tea is pretty awesome. It contains antioxidants (which help prevent cells from being damaged), has less caffeine than coffee, and drinking it may even reduce your chances of heart attack or stroke. Unfortunately, tea (specifically black and other dark-hued teas) isn't as kind to tooth enamel. To avoid staining from tea, try to stick with green, white or herbal teas and if you must drink the darker stuff, try adding some milk to dilute the pigment.

3. Berries

Blueberries, cherries, raspberries and any other type of brightly colored berries (which is pretty much all of them) can cause teeth staining. The juices from these berries have such intensely colored pigment, it's no wonder they've been used for dyes, food coloring and even paint! Opt for light colored fruits such as oranges, white grapes or bananas if you're trying to get a fruit fix.

4. Red Wine

Red wine contains the same pigments as those found in the grape skins used to make wine, so it makes sense that it will stain teeth just as the grapes themselves will. To avoid this, try switching to white wine or at least swish with some water after each glass. This will not only help you avoid staining your teeth, it will also help reduce the acidity level in your mouth that the wine likely elevated. High acidity in the mouth can cause the enamel of your teeth to wear away.

5. Dark hard candy

Have you ever looked at your tounge after eating a brightly colored lollipop? It changed color, right? Well, these hard candies can do the same thing to your teeth over time. Avoid hard candy with dark or artificial dyes if possible.

Keep in mind that these foods and beverages don't have to be completely off limits! You can still enjoy your morning coffee, your evening glass of red wine or the occasional hard candy - just make sure you do your best to brush, floss or at least rinse with water after you consume them.

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