It’s hard to believe that even the simplest of drinks can contribute towards teeth discolouration, but tea, sauces, wine… all can cause your teeth to lose their sparkle and develop nasty plaque.
So what can you do to prevent it? Avoid them completely?
Of course not! If you did that you’d barely have anything left to eat/drink. However, learn to recognise which foods can discolour your teeth and you can then take the next step to protect them.
Top 6 foods which discolour teeth
1. Tea – this characteristically healthy drink is reputed to be worse than coffee at staining your teeth. Even herbal tea and white teas can erode your enamel causing your teeth to take on a yellowish appearance.
2. Sauces – soy sauce, tomato sauce and curry sauce have all been linked to staining so opt for lighter sauces where possible.
3. Acidic drinks – alongside fizzy drinks, sports/energy drinks have also been found to erode tooth enamel.
4. Wine – red wine in particular is known for tooth discolouration due to the tannins and chromogens it contains. Yet white wine is no less bad for your teeth due to its high acidic content.
5. Berries – the pigmented molecules in blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates and other colourful berries all have a tendency to stick to your enamel, thus staining your teeth.
6. Sweets – this one should really be of no surprise considering the colour they can sometimes send your tongue.
How can I stop staining?
The problem with most of the foods listed above is a lot of them are full of nutrients and antioxidants which are good for your body, so unsurprisingly you don’t want to exclude them from your diet entirely.
For this reason, try to cut back and eat them in moderation (this is particularly true of the berries and tomato sauce). Alternatively you can try swapping them for berries which are equally filled with antioxidants such as cauliflower, apples, grapefruit and melon. These are all good for your body, but won’t stain your teeth.
Other tips you can try include:
. Brushing regularly – as well as brushing twice a day, why not also try brushing your teeth after you have eaten something which you know is notorious for staining. Flossing too can help to limit plaque. Simply aim to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after eating something acidic or chew on a piece of sugarless gum.
. Use a straw – to limit your exposure to tea, fizzy drinks and juices, try drinking your drinks from a straw as this will enable you to swallow before they interact with your teeth too much.
. Swallow quickly – similar to the straw technique, don’t let staining causing foods and drinks stay in your mouth for too long, but swallow as quickly as you can without choking.
. Use a teeth whitening gel – despite your best efforts your teeth will become exposed to these foods/drinks in varying degrees and will ultimately become stained.
Luckily teeth whitening gels can help you to combat this by converting coloured compounds into colourless compounds in the pores of your teeth.
Achieving a whiter smile is easier than you think once you know how. So remember to have the above foods/drinks in moderation and ensure you employ the above 4 tips when taking care of your teeth.