The Top Foods and Drinks That Stain Your Teeth
Sometimes, tooth discoloration happens. At times it can be caused by factors, such as aging. Other times, it can be from an accident, or even a previous lifestyle. But did you know that stained teeth can also be caused by the foods we eat every day?
Even though staining can sometimes be unavoidable, it is important to do what we can to keep our teeth shining bright. But if dental staining gets a hold of you in the end, don’t worry! There are options for you to help return your smile to its former glory.
Common Culprits of Stained Teeth
There are several reasons why different foods and drinks can cause your teeth to become discolored. Sometimes it is because of the chemical compounds inside the food or drink that gives it a strong color, other times it’s because of the different acids. Once in your mouth, these get to work on your teeth, wearing down your enamel and increasing the chances of dental discoloration.
Now, some of these foods and drinks have a lot of nutritional value. It might not be the best idea to cut them out of your diet entirely, but it is good to be aware of the potential staining and what to do to avoid it.
Coffee is one of the most common drinks that contribute to dental staining, especially since a large portion of us need that morning cup to get through the day! Other drinks that can cause staining include tea, soda, red wine, fruit juices, and sports drinks.
When it comes to food, keep an eye on berries like cherries, raspberries, and blackberries. Curry and pasta sauce are other foods that are known to add to dental staining.
How to decrease the staining effects of food and drink.
Just because these foods cause dental staining, it doesn’t mean you have to stop eating them altogether. There are ways to help mitigate potential tooth discoloration.
- Using a straw when you drink things like dark sodas can help limit how much of the staining liquid makes contact with your teeth.
- Brush after eating, but be sure to wait around 30 minutes after you finish to ensure you aren’t harming the enamel.
- Whitening toothpaste can be magic!
- Rinse your mouth after you eat to get rid of anything that might be hiding.
- Keep your regularly scheduled dental cleanings! Doing this can help catch staining before it gets out of hand, as well as your dentist can potentially treat your teeth with a fluoride seal to help prevent it altogether.
Different Kinds of Staining
There are two common types of dental staining, extrinsic and intrinsic.
- Extrinsic staining is caused by consuming the staining foods and drinks we’ve already mentioned. Other things like smoking, or certain medications, can also cause extrinsic staining.
- Intrinsic staining can sometimes be caused by demineralization or hypocalcification on the tooth. It refers to staining that affects the tooth below the external layer of enamel.
What can be done about tooth discoloration?
Sometimes, tooth discoloration is unavoidable. Whether the staining occurred from age, a previous lifestyle, or an accident, there are things that can be done to help return your smile to its former glory.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening options are easily accessible here in Virginia Beach but might not give the desired result. In addition to offering take-home whitening kits, here at King Dental, we have two different in-office whitening options: GLO Science, and Zoom.
- GLO Science is a quick, 16-minute treatment under a UV light that can whiten your teeth by up to 12 shades.
- Zoom is a longer process, typically taking around 45 minutes, and can whiten your teeth by up to eight shades, with little to no sensitivity.
If dental whitening isn’t the right option for you, other types of cosmetic dentistry might be best. Another common option we have to brighten your smile are traditional porcelain veneers and Lumineers.
Veneers can not only help with severe staining, but they can also help return your smile back to its former glory after accidents. Whether your teeth are chipped, broken, or have gaps, veneers could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Porcelain veneers, as you would expect, are made out of porcelain. They can last 15 years or more, and are a lot more crack resistant than Lumineers, as they are thicker.
Lumineers are thin shells that can be placed on the tooth without shaving it down first. This makes the application process much faster, though they don’t always last quite as long as a porcelain veneer.
A brighter smile is only a few clicks away!
Whether you are in need of a take-home whitening kit or need to schedule time for an in-office whitening session, be sure to reach out to us. We’d love to see you, and get your smile back in tip-top shape!