A beautiful, white smile is a prize that most desire. It’s right up there with a great job and the guy or gal of your dreams. In fact, one study shows that people with white teeth were “perceived as more socially competent, smarter, more satisfied with their relationships, and more psychologically adjusted.” So it’s no wonder that people are looking for ways to keep their teeth sparkling white.
While may be brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly, there might be a handful of sneaky foods that are getting in the way of your progress. Some foods simply stain your teeth more than others. Fortunately, most of this can be resolved simply by washing out your mouth with water after you finish eating or drinking them. Others are best to avoid altogether.
Turns out that (almost) everybody’s favorite morning brew may be responsible for discoloration of the teeth. Coffee contains “tannins” which are acidic polyphenols that can lead to staining. Coffee is also acidic which can throw off the pH balance of your mouth and erode the outer layer of your teeth (enamel), revealing the yellow-tinted dentin underneath.
2. Sweets (Candies & Pastries)
We’ve all heard that sugar will rot out your teeth, and there’s some merit to this age-old tale. You see, your mouth is filled with bacteria – some good and some harmful. The bad bacteria especially love sugar, and the more it’s available in your mouth, the more bacteria feed on it. Unfortunately, the byproduct of their feeding is harmful acids that discolor teeth and lead to tooth decay. It’s best to keep sugar as low as possible. Plus, the rest of your body will thank you as well.
Just like the solid snacks, sugar-laden liquids can cause widespread decay across the mouth. Even worse – according to one study – the carbonation in soda (including sugar-free alternatives) creates holes in your teeth. Plus, the liquid nature of soda allows it to get deeper into oral cracks and to surround your entire tooth. One of the best things to do post-soft drink is to swish some water around in your mouth to rinse out as much sugar as you can.
4. Citrus and Acidic Foods
While citrus – such as from lemons – is great for your health, the acidity can be damaging to your tooth enamel. If you are eating citrus on a regular basis, do your best to wash your mouth to prevent any kind of outer decay. (But by all means, keep enjoying fresh the citrus.)
5. Blueberries, Blackberries, and Pomegranates
While these colorful fruits aren’t acidic, their colors can stick around for a while. Again, keep enjoying these deliciously healthy foods, but be mindful of how long you are letting their color soak in – especially if you have veneers.
6. Wine (Both Red and White)
Vino has been shown to stain teeth due its tannin content (much like our beloved java). Wine is also acidic and can create tiny pockets on the surface of your teeth, allowing other beverages to make their way in deeper and cause additional damage. Plus, alcohol dries out the mouth and can lead to bad breath and gum disease. So it’s best to go light on the fermented grapes.
But don’t fear! In addition to swishing with water after eating these foods, you can also use Oxyfresh products, which are clinically proven to beat the big name brands at fighting plaque and cleaning teeth. Plus, our mouthwashes are always dye-free, so you never have to worry about your dental products making the problem worse. Just one less thing to worry about. 🙂