Everyone wants a beautiful, bright, healthy smile, right? That’s why teeth whitening is so popular in Kansas City and around the country. But you’ve heard the saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to having a healthy smile, one of the best teeth-whitening tips is to keep your teeth from getting stained in the first place. And one of the best ways to do that is to avoid foods and beverages that are more likely to stain your teeth. If you do eat or drink them, do so in moderation and make sure that you brush well afterward.
Coffee and red wine are well-known culprits when it comes to staining teeth, but did you know that sugary soda pop, sports drinks, and even tea also fall into this category? Anything sugary increases your risk of cavities, while anything acidic can erode the enamel of your teeth, revealing the yellowish dentin underneath. This can also result in tooth sensitivity and other dental problems. Most sodas and many sports drinks are both sugary and acidic, and sodas with caramel coloring can stain as well.
While the fact that red wine can stain your teeth may seem obvious—just think of how it stains your carpet—it comes as a surprise to many that white wine can be harmful, too. While its color may not be as dark, white wine contains more acid than red wine, not to mention the same teeth-staining tannins found in tea. Lemon juice is also extremely acidic, leading to loss of enamel and making your teeth more susceptible to stains.
Like red wine, curries and tomato sauces aren’t surprising additions to this list. If you’ve ever gotten curry on something white, you know how difficult the stain can be to remove. Tomato sauce, meanwhile, has that bright red color and is acidic to boot. Condiments like balsamic vinegar and soy sauce can also stain your teeth.
There are even several fruits and vegetables that can spell trouble for your healthy smile. Dark-colored fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pomegranates, and cherries contain purple and red pigments that can stain your teeth. Beets cause stains, too. It isn’t just the fruits themselves, either. Fruit juices are often sugary and highly acidic and can do the same things to your teeth as their whole fruit counterparts.
Of course, we already know that candy and sweets can lead to cavities and other dental problems, but we often don’t think about them specifically as culprits in staining our teeth. Yet candies that contain food dye can often do just that. If your tongue changes color when you eat it, odds are your teeth may, too.
Naturally, we would never suggest that you completely avoid all of these foods. Many of them are nutritious and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. But it’s good to know what you’re up against and to understand why it’s so important to brush after eating.
If prevention is the best way to keep your smile healthy, the best prevention is maintaining your regular biannual dental checkups and cleanings at your family dentist in Kansas City. And if you’re looking for brighter, whiter teeth, Blacker Family Dental also offers advanced teeth whitening in Kansas City, with both in-office and take-home options available. Call (816) 763-8400 to learn more, or click here to schedule an appointment.