Are you determined to keep those pearly whites at their whitest? If so, it is important to understand what causes different types of stains. It is well known that regular brushing and flossing are important to maintain dental health and avoid accumulating stain. Most people understand the importance of being tobacco-free to keep teeth from being stained, as well. Dentists now say that certain foods and drinks will stain teeth, too.
Dark-colored foods and drinks tend to be the biggest stain causers. The more intense the color of the food or drink, the more potential there is for stain to develop. Foods and drinks can cause stain because of chromogens found within the foods and beverages. Chromogens are intensely pigmented molecules and have a tendency to attach to the dental enamel. Another factor of a food or drink’s staining ability is if it has a high amount of acidity.
How does acid cause staining? High amounts of acids can erode the enamel of teeth, which lets chromogens attach to the surface more easily.
Top foods and drinks contributing to stains
- Wine: Dark wines are notorious for causing stain because of the acidity and chromogens. White wines, although not commonly thought of as stain-causing, can also contribute to stain.
- Tea: Dentists say that tea stains teeth more than coffee. Tea is a pretty aggressive stainer; however, herbal, green and white teas will not cause as much stain as dark teas.
- Soda: Sodas are acidic and even light-colored sodas can contribute to staining.
- Berries, sauces and candies can also cause staining
- What are some tips to eliminate staining?
Cut back on stain-causing foods and drinks.
- Use a straw: When using a straw, it eliminates the contact between the teeth and the substance you are drinking.
- Swallow promptly: It is important to swallow the food rather quickly instead of chewing for long amounts of time. Obviously it is important to chew food properly, but don’t savor the flavor for too long.
- Swish with water: It’s not always convenient or easy to brush your teeth right after consuming a snack or meal. Swishing with water is a great alternative to help wash away the excess food or drink.
How can I treat staining
- whitening strips
- in-office whitening procedures
Talk to your dentists here at Rochester Dental Clinic, if you are concerned with staining on your teeth. They will be able to talk to you about your specific staining and your susceptibility to more staining.