People may look at photos of celebrities with their perfect white teeth and lament that their smile is starting to look a little rundown and yellow. In order to begin fixing your smile, it’s necessary to identify the things that are staining your teeth in the first place. And, if cutting them out of your diet doesn’t change your smile as much as you’d like, then it’s time to explore some cosmetic dentistry options that can give you a beautiful, white grin.
There are a number of foods that affect the color of our teeth, and they’re not necessarily unhealthy foods. Here are the top culprits:
- Berries. Fresh cherries, ripe strawberries, juicy blueberries – brightly colored fruits can stain your teeth, even in dessert form, like pies or cobblers.
- Balsamic vinegar. If you’re a fan of this condiment, try to eat it only on salads so that the lettuce can work as a barrier between the dark pigments of the balsamic vinegar and your teeth.
- Soy sauce. Sushi fan? You may love dousing those California rolls in a petite dish of soy sauce, but the effects of that soy are anything but small. The pigment in soy sauce sticks to your teeth and causes stains. Clean your palette in between bites.
- Hard candy. If candy can turn your tongue a different color, it can do the same thing to your teeth. Eat lollipops and hard candy in moderation.
- Tomato sauce. Tomatoes are highly acidic, and dark red tomato sauce – as flavorful as it may be – can stain everything from plastic plates to your pearly whites.
- Tea, coffee, and soda. Not every tea does major damage to enamel. Dark teas can stain the most, so diluting them with milk can help, but to minimize tea stains, stick to green or white teas. Dark roast coffee is one of the biggest culprits behind teeth stains, as are dark colas.
- Wine. The acidic content of red wine can stain teeth and eat away at tooth enamel. If you can’t part with that nice glass of red with dinner, drink water in between sips of wine to wash off your teeth.
Any teeth-staining food or drink isn’t advisable in large quantities, so tempering your consumption of them can help you bypass some staining. It’s also wise to chew and swallow your foods and drinks quickly so that they don’t settle on your teeth, and it’s also important to rinse your mouth with water as often as possible and brush your teeth after eating.
One small trick: Using a straw can help keep liquids away from your teeth, though this isn’t really going to work with wine, hot tea, or coffee. Preventive care can also help get the job done.
If your tooth stains have long set in and show no signs of letting go, it’s time to consider your cosmetic dentistry options. Professional teeth whitening can be done in one hour in-office, or you can opt for bleaching which is a customized tray and bleaching gel procedure you do in the comfort of your own home. Alternatively, porcelain veneers or Cerinate lumineers can makeover your smile and cover teeth stains permanently.
Make your appointment for a consultation with Dr. Ken Cirka at Philadelphia Dentistry to determine the best course of treatment for taking care of your stained teeth.