Whether you’ve invested in your smile by paying for professional whitening, or you’ve been vigilant about dental hygiene your whole life, you probably have an interest in keeping your pearly whites bright and beautiful. Following a few simple steps should help you maintain your gleaming smile.
The cosmetic dentistry services at Silver Lake Dental include professional teeth whitening. That’s because Dr. Joshua Whitford and Dr. Jessica Whitford and their outstanding staff understand the importance of loving how you look. In this post, we describe six foods and beverages that may be darkening your smile and offer a few tips to avoid staining.
1. Your favorite beverages
You probably already know coffee, tea, and red wine can stain your teeth, but do you know why? They all contain dark pigments, along with acids that can soften your enamel. The acids make it easier for the pigmentation to discolor your teeth.
In addition, red wine contains tannins that help the pigments stick to the surface of your teeth, further increasing the risk of staining.
2. Hold the condiments
Some foods are just so much better with condiments like soy sauce. Salads are vastly improved with dressings. But those delicious condiments can leave a darkening residue on your teeth. Mustard can also leave a yellow or reddish stain behind. Usually, one serving won’t cause a problem, but eating these foods regularly can cause stains to build up and become noticeable.
3. Soft drinks
The sugars and acids contained in most sodas and energy drinks make them dangerous for your teeth. Both ingredients can weaken your enamel, and when your beverage of choice is dark-colored, the threat to the whiteness of your teeth is real!
4. Blueberries and blackberries
Dark-colored berries like blueberries and blackberries are good for you, but they can affect the whiteness of your teeth. Just as such dark-colored berries can leave your fingers sticky and purple, they can also stain your teeth, especially along your gum line and between your teeth.
5. Artificial colors
Manufacturers want your food to look appealing, which means they often add colors to foods. Just as the natural color of dark berries can stain your teeth, the artificial dark pigment colors in some beverages can present a threat to your teeth. Limiting foods with added color is a good policy, especially if they’re sticky or sugary foods.
6. Certain fruits
Citrus fruits and strawberries have significant health benefits, but one drawback is they may soften your enamel. These fruits may not cause stains, but they make it easier for other foods and beverages to penetrate your enamel and cause staining.
One way to avoid the possibility of stains when you eat strawberries is to avoid other foods and beverages for about a half hour, which is about how long it takes for your enamel to be strong again.
Stain prevention techniques
Many of the foods we’ve mentioned, like berries and citrus, offer numerous health benefits. Rather than cutting them completely out of your diet, you may want to consider rinsing your mouth after eating them to remove any dark pigments or acids.
We always encourage our patients to follow a healthy home hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. You should also have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly about every six months.
Make an appointment at Silver Lake Dental today to learn more about how you can keep your smile beautiful, healthy, and sparkling.