Guys, it’s not rocket science, one of your best accessories is your smile. We owe it to ourselves to take care of our smiles. Obviously the easiest way is to avoid things that stain your teeth. Which is why we’ve compiled a little cheat sheet of 3 foods to avoid for a whiter smile.
Yeah, yeah. We may sound a little vain, but a bright white smile can even make you appear smarter than you actually are (read more here). PS, I’m feeling pretty smart right now.
Studies have also shown that white teeth can take 5 years off of your perceived age. That’s pretty CRAZY, we know!
So you can ditch the Botox and just focus on taking care of those pearly whites. If you’re not willing to go the extra mile in the name of vanity, we have some tips to find that happy medium. Unfortunately, common foods and drinks can stain teeth over time, dulling your sparkle and really, who wants yellow teeth? All the nopes!
Let’s dive into why this is a thing that happens. We’re going to get a little science-y but bear with us …
This terrible trio is the culprit — acids, tannins and chromogens.
Chromogens cause stains to stick to your tooth enamel and turn your teeth yellow over time. 😱
Acids soften your tooth enamel, which can expose the tissue underneath and make your teeth more susceptible to damage. Say what?!
Tannins are a plant-based compound that bond to other substances, which in turn causes those substances to stain. And chromogens, when oxidized turn a darker color. Hard pass!
Ok, enough technical talk, let’s get down to business!
Here are the Top 3 Foods (And Drinks) That Cause Staining …
#1 Your Fav Beverage
Yes, we know technically these aren’t a “food”. However, they’re kind of a big deal when it comes to staining, making them one of the biggest contributors.
Tea has more tannins than coffee which can actually contribute greatly to yellowing teeth over time, more so than coffee.
But if you’re like 65% of Americans who add cream or sugar to their coffee the tannins and the sugar combo can lead to tooth decay AND stains. Eek!!
Red wine and dark colored soda drinks contains all three of the offenders that contribute to a less than perfect smile (tannins, chromogens and acids). YIKES!
If you think you’re safe with clear sodas or white wine–think again! Clear sodas … and all soda … strips away your tooth enamel over time causing tooth erosion. While white wine doesn’t actually stain. The acid content seeps into your teeth and can cause pockets on the surface of your teeth that allow other beverages to seep in and cause yellowing.
You’d have to wrestle my morning cup of coffee out of my hands, so we totally understand how hard it can be to give up your drink of choice. We all have our vices! So if you must indulge …
Preventative Tip: Make sure to use a great mouth rinse to prevent staining (before and after preferably). Straws can also help avoid contact with your teeth. Although, you may look a little silly sipping red wine from a straw. We won’t judge though!
#2 Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are very acidic which can wear off the enamel on your teeth. Even fruit juices especially those with lemon, lime and grapefruit flavorings can cause erosion which makes your teeth susceptible to staining AND those dreaded cavities. Bummer!
Also, while not acidic but in the fruit fam, blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates are also no bueno! They’re super high in antioxidants so we don’t recommend removing them fully from your diet. But proceed with caution.
Before getting depressed thinking about how boring a drink would be without a little lemon or lime.Or how sad pies would be without berries. While simultaneously wondering if tooth erosion is really *that* bad … we have a solution …
Preventative Tip: Drinking with a straw isn’t a good enough prevention since it can still ruin the back of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth out with water for 30 seconds after partaking can help. If you eat (or drink) these with a meal it can also lessen the effects.
#3 Food Dyes
Not super shocking that food dyes cause some serious stains. Sports drinks, candy, sugary snacks, cookies, and even mouthwashes/toothpastes (Whaaa?!).
Toothpastes and mouthwashes that contain alcohol, dyes and CPCs can exacerbate your staining problem. Not to mention alcohol dries out your mouth causing bad breath. For ways to get rid of bad breath, read our guide here.
The real issue here is the CPCs they can re-attach to the tooth or gather in other areas of the mouth—usually near the gums. The bacteria then leaves brown stains wherever they are.
However, dyes are all around us — and brushing only reduces stains by 50-60%.
Where there are problems, we have solutions …
Preventative Tip: You can protect your teeth by rinsing your mouth with mouthwash before and after treating yourself to foods or beverages containing dyes. Mouthwash creates a protective film over your teeth to prevent these food stains from setting in and will help with cavity prevention too! It’s really a win-win!
A good thing to remember to keep your teeth as shiny as Tamatoa (Any Moana fans out there? Just us?) is that if it will stain a tablecloth or your shirt, it’s likely to do the same to your teeth.
Rinsing your mouth with a high quality mouthwash can also keep stains from setting in. Obviously find one that doesn’t contain cetylpyridinium chloride (CPCs), alcohols or dyes.
We love creating healthy smiles, so we have a specially formulated one we made just for you.
We may be a tad bit biased, but it’s clinically proven to outperform conventional mouthwashes on the market.
Humble Brag: It’s also award winning …
>> Alcohol, Dye Free Mouthrinse
It’s also available in a travel kit to bring that
stain fighting power with you on the go!
>> Oxyfresh Fresh Breath Travel Kit
Keep smiling friends,
Love your Oxyfresh Tribe