With summer fast approaching, most of us naturally want nice bright radiant smiles. The appearance of our teeth can affect our image and confidence. How can we avoid causing more staining to our teeth?
Coffee and Tea
Unfortunately, your usual ‘pick-me-ups’ can cause staining of your pearly whites. They contain something called tannins (acidic polyphenols) that cause staining and discolouration. In addition, their acidity changes the pH balance in your mouth and causes damage to the enamel of your teeth.
We all know soft drinks are full of sugar, and we know how much bacteria loves sugar! Our mouths contain bacteria that feed off the sugar and change it into acid which attacks our tooth enamel. Tooth decay can appear dark or black in more advanced cases. Dark coloured soft drinks (such as colas) can also stain teeth.
Ah alas! Sorry to be a party pooper! You were probably expecting me to say this anyway but the colour red will obviously stain enamel. However, it is the tannins in red wine that is, again, the real culprit. Something you may not have been expecting is that white wines are also no better for your teeth. It is the acid in the whites that causes the problem.
Part of the group known as ‘super food’ are your blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates. They are a great source of antioxidants but not so great for your pearly whites.
So, what can you do to maintain your pearly whites?
Firstly, everything in moderation. We can certainly enjoy our favourite foods and drinks but don’t overdo it.
Secondly, after consuming these foods and drinks have a good drink of water and rinse your mouth out thoroughly. DO NOT brush your teeth straight away as many of these have high acid content and would ‘soften’ the enamel. Leave it for at least an hour before attempting to brush your teeth.
Thirdly, try having your tea or coffee with a dash of milk. This can inhibit the staining process a little.
Lastly, having a consistent healthy dental routine such as:
- brushing at least twice a day;
- flossing at least once a day (preferably at night if only done once daily); plus
- regular dental visits to your friendly local dentist for checks and cleans
will help keep you smiling confidently!