It’s true what they say – that sometimes it’s the things we enjoy the most which bring about the most challenges. In this instance, we’re talking about those delicious foods and drinks that bring joy to our bellies but wreak havoc on our smile – staining the teeth and contributing towards other oral health challenges including tooth decay and more.
There are some which are known culprits, while others contribute towards specific issues from behind the scenes. In this article, we’re sharing some of the biggest offenders which cause staining and other oral issues, alongside advice on how best to avoid them.
Foods which stain your teeth
Most people jump straight to drinks when considering the major culprits for stained teeth – however, there are foods which cause the same impact (yet are often under-shared and under-talked about).
Tomato sauce is one of the top offenders on the list, with the combination of high acidity, sugar, and salt all breaking down the enamel which protects the surface of the tooth and prevents it from becoming stained.
Soy sauce is another culprit which can stain the teeth when consumed regularly, as the sugar and acidity has the same impact as tomato sauce, while balsamic vinegar unites the acidity with the fact that the product sticks to the teeth and has a dark colour which over time can alter the colour of your teeth.
Other foods to be aware of include curries which contain a rich yellow turmeric, berries which can cause staining with their potent colours, and jams and jellies which are made from these berries.
Drinks which stain your teeth
There are a couple of known offenders which fall into this category, namely coffee and wine which both contribute towards surface level staining which can have an impact on the look of your teeth even after whitening treatment.
Coffee is at its most potent when served black, while red wine is known to stain the teeth – both in the form of short term stains which appear instantly while drinking, and long lasting stains which appear over time with continued consumption.
Other drinks which can cause staining across the teeth include tea, fruit juices, and energy drinks. Those which are high in sugar, namely the fruit juices and energy drinks, are connected with a breakdown in enamel and high acidity, both of which increase the likelihood of staining.
Other lifestyle products / habits which stain your teeth
You won’t be surprised to learn that tobacco is on this list. A primary contributor to a number of health and wellness issues and diseases, tobacco and the habit of smoking can stain your teeth over time due to the chemicals which are found in the products. Teeth which are regularly subject to smoking and to the consumption of tobacco can yellow over time – an aesthetic which looks unclean, and which is exceptionally difficult even with a potent remove through whitening treatment.
Wear and tear is another factor which contributes towards stained teeth, with a lack of oral hygiene and regular brushing very gradually impacting the colour and look of your teeth. And then we come to trauma or infection, particularly that which affects the enamel of a tooth and causes it to cease the proper formation.
How to avoid stained teeth
Now that we know what to look out for and be aware of, how exactly can we avoid stained teeth? After all, many of the foods and drinks listed above are common, everyday products, while wear and tear is not something that many of us can avoid.
In short, it’s all about minimising the chances that foods and drinks have to wreak havoc on the enamel and overall colouring of the teeth. For the drinks, that means using a straw where possible and rinsing your mouth with water after consumption, to wash away any residual drinks which might cause staining.
In the case of the foods mentioned above, again taking the time to rinse your mouth after consumption can be a good way of minimising the chance of staining, as well as consuming some naturally-cleaning good as a follow-up. These include apples, pears, cucumbers, and celery.
Finally, in the case of smoking, consider this a sign to give up or try your best to cut back on your smoking habit and tobacco use. And when in doubt, whether it be with regards to staining or other signs of wear and tear, always book an appointment with your dentist.
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