As we move into summer, many of us are looking forward to fun adventures, weekend getaways, and parties with friends. At Lifetime Family Dental, serving the Phoenix region, we love summer, too. We want to look and feel our best for all that summer fun, and that includes having a brilliant smile. Recently in our writing, we’ve been focusing on the subject of teeth whitening. And since prevention is always better than remediation, here are some of the top ten tooth staining foods that will dull your smile.
– Wine: The acidic quality of wine can easily etch the enamel on your teeth, making them more susceptible to staining. White wines especially have a tendency to penetrate the porous surface of a tooth, leaving a stain over time. Red wines also cause staining due to the tannins in the wine.
– Dark Fruit Juices: Cranberry and grape juice, like wine, are highly acidic. They bring health to other parts of your body, but they can do damage to your teeth. The sugars and acids cling to your enamel and plaque, etching the tooth surface and allowing the dark juice to stain your teeth.
– Coffee: Coffee stains everything! Drinking only one or two cups a day can leave stains on your teeth. Rinsing your mouth after drinking coffee will help reduce the staining effect somewhat. Adding milk or cream may also help, and it will give you calcium to strengthen the enamel.
– Tea: Like coffee, tea is a favorite warm beverage. It has similar tannins to wine, however, and can cause deep staining, especially if it’s black tea. Green tea is less likely to stain, and white tea or herbal tea are even better.
– Balsamic vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is both highly acidic and dark in color. It will etch your teeth and penetrate enamel quite easily. Fortunately, you don’t consume it as a beverage. But it is good to be aware that regular use without rinsing and brushing afterward will stain your teeth.
– Soy sauce: Soy sauce can stain a crisp white tablecloth; it can also stain bright white teeth. It is a highly concentrated dark liquid that contains high levels of sodium. People who consume a lot of Chinese food should be aware that too much soy sauce is unhealthy for the entire body—including those pearly whites.
– Beets: Beets produce a lovely, intense crimson juice that will leave lasting stains on any porous surface, and on your teeth. If you want a red smile, indulge freely. If not, it is best to eat your spinach or broccoli first, because these veggies will form a protective coating that will hinder staining. Also, be sure to brush your teeth within an hour after eating beets.
– Tomato sauce: Like other fruits, tomatoes are very acidic. They easily etch and penetrate tooth enamel and can cause significant staining.
– Blueberries: Blueberries are great tasting and high in antioxidants. Unfortunately, the dark skins also stain your teeth. Rinsing and brushing after eating will help to remove the tiny bits of skin that cling to teeth and gums and take care of the staining properties.
– Curry: This popular spice has a reputation for staining your teeth yellow. The tumeric in curry is the culprit here. If you enjoy Indian cuisine, be aware that you will need to brush thoroughly after eating if you want to keep your bright white smile.
If you have stained teeth from these or any other foods, Lifetime Family Dental in Phoenix Arizona advocates professional teeth whitening. We also have home kits for keeping your smile looking its best. No matter what you eat, however, be sure to follow a daily brushing and flossing routine. It is good for your overall health and will protect your teeth from staining and decay. Have a great summer!