Published in October 2019.
Beauty standards are pretty unrealistic, even when it comes to our smiles.
The classic trope of “pearly white” teeth is not always compatible with our hectic lifestyles. A stained smile will have you questioning everything from your morning coffee to your after-dinner wine. But coffee and red wine aren’t the main offenders when it comes to the staining of your teeth. Make no mistake, consumption of tobacco products, tea and soda are also popular culprits. In fact, a lot of our everyday indulgences are actually doing quite a number when it comes to yellowing our teeth.
Many of the foods and drinks on this list are fairly obvious, but there are a few silent killers that would be quite surprising. White wine, lemons, tomatoes and sports drinks are just a few examples that you wouldn’t think of at first. Acidic foods like these are generally known for causing cavities but they are also good at eroding the enamel of your teeth and exposing the dentin underneath. Dentin is primarily calcium and potassium and mostly responsible for the yellow tinge that appears with increased acidity in your mouth.
Coffee, tea and wine drinkers are also faced with a similar problem. These beverages are filled with tannins, and affect the chemical balance in your mouth. Tannins make your mouth more acidic and we know what acid does to your teeth…
Mind your mouth
Sugary foods can also cause problems for the same reason. Foods with high concentrations of carbohydrates are bacterial heaven. Bacteria feed on sugars and release acids into your mouth. This contributes to the erosion of your teeth and discolouration. Other foods to watch have naturally strong pigments such as pomegranates, berries and dark chocolate. If it can stain cloth it can stain your teeth.
Everything in moderation, with a few hacks
We’re not asking you to give up on your favourites. Minimize the intake of acidic and tannin-filled foods and drinks as much as you can. If it can’t be avoided, there are some things you can do. If you have existing oral health concerns like cavities and gum disease, you can also benefit from this. However, consider how you consume these foods. Consider what you do after you eat these foods.
You’ll notice a huge difference if you start drinking sugary drinks from a straw. Swallow right away to prevent as much contact with your teeth as possible. This will minimize opportunities for staining caused by acid buildup. Brushing your teeth after eating and drinking would be ideal, too. Even a quick rinse can be pretty effective in getting rid of that initial acidic residue.
We’re definitely not telling our readers to cut these foods and drinks out entirely, but maybe be more aware of how often and how much you consume. If you’re already seeing yellowing of your teeth, whitening strips and toothpaste can help. You can also get your teeth professionally whitened by your dentist. As far as we are concerned at Sandhurst Family Dental, keeping whiter teeth isn’t entirely a cosmetic pursuit. It’s about a healthier balance in your mouth and fewer oral health issues across the lifespan. If you need advice on how to fall in love with your smile, book an appointment with us today!