Are you embarrassed to show your teeth while smiling or laughing out loud in public? Is it because your teeth look dingy and dull all the time? If your answer to both the questions is yes, then chances are high that you might be a victim of discolouration of teeth aka teeth staining.
Did you know that certain foods and beverages, when consumed on a regular basis, contribute to the staining of our teeth? In this article, we will be identifying the various types of foods and drinks that are notorious for their teeth staining ability:
Whether your mornings begin with a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee, either way, your teeth are the risk of getting stained! Both tea and coffee contain chemical compounds named tannins, which stick onto the tooth enamel and gradually leads to its discolouration. Just remember, the darker the colour of your tea or coffee blend, the more teeth staining it is likely to create.
When it comes to vibrant fruits with high pigment saturation levels, berries often top the list. Which is why, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, etc. – all of them despite being excellent sources of antioxidants – are believed to be among the biggest offenders vis-à-vis teeth staining. Other dark-hued fruits such as cherries and pomegranates too could lead to teeth staining issues, when consumed excessively.
Sorry to break this to you – as much as we Indians love our delicious and flavourful curry dishes, we can’t ignore the fact that these savoury curries often leave the most stubborn stains on our teeth. To be more precise, turmeric (haldi) and other spices that would give your curry its mouth-watering yellow colour could do the same for your teeth!
- Sodas & Colas
Whether it’s a bottle of soda, energy drink, or your favourite cola (soft drink), almost every carbonated beverage out there would have a high acidic pH, high sugar content, and are many-a-times laden with artificial dyes. It means that these sugar-filled sodas and colas are not only likely to stain your teeth, but could also lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay in the long run.
- Tomato-Based Sauces
The pigments that make tomatoes deep red in colour are obviously present in the sauces, ketchups, and other household products made with tomato. Not only are tomato-based sauces – those consumed along with pastas and pizzas – pretty dark coloured, but they’re also acidic in nature, thus tending to cling to your teeth and making them stain-prone.
- Citrus Fruits
Though highly nutritious, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are rich in acidic content, due to which they can play the villain in weakening the tooth enamel and make it susceptible to staining. Neither are orange juices and lemonades less harmful for the teeth.
In addition (to the ones mentioned above), a list of common teeth-staining foods and liquids would also include – beets, candies, lollipops, chocolates, red wine, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard, among others.
Overcoming Food-Related Teeth Stains: What Should Be Done
By now, you are aware about the usual teeth-staining suspects amongst our daily food and beverage items. While it is true that almost all of us are likely to experience some teeth staining throughout our lifetime, the key to dealing with this issue so it doesn’t lead to more serious oral health problems over the years, lies in embracing a consistent oral care routine – brushing and flossing every day, eating teeth-staining foods and drinks in moderation, and scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
It should additionally help to be familiar with a few more actionable tips and strategies for preventing or minimizing diet-induced recurring and new teeth stains:
- Some of the teeth-staining food or beverage items are quite nutritious and healthy for our body. Therefore, cutting out all such foods and drinks from our diet might not be practically feasible. But we can always attempt to replace certain items with their non-staining alternatives. For example, think of substituting your usual morning tea with a lighter-coloured herbal tea or green tea!
- Start including in your diet (teeth) stain-preventing foods such as apples, carrots, cucumbers and celery. These crunchy fruits and vegetables help in stimulating saliva and naturally scrub your teeth, thus acting as great stain-removers. In fact, consciously developing the habit of balancing stain-causing foods along with stain-preventing foods will be useful for keeping your teeth and mouth healthier over the long-term. For instance, immediately after having berries or oranges, drink a glass of milk or have yogurt to neutralize the acids.
- Whenever having a ‘stain-able’ beverage like a cold drink or tea/coffee, make use of a straw for sipping, to limit its direct contact with your teeth. Keeping the straw(s) handy can prove to be an effective way for keeping detrimental substances away from the teeth surface, while still enjoying your drink to the fullest!
- After consuming the foods or drinks that are likely to stain your teeth, make it a point to drink water and rinse every time. Swishing your mouth with water can wash away pigments and artificial colours. Also, you should be ideally brushing your teeth after every ‘stain-risky’ meal. However, if you have consumed an acidic food or drink, wait for at least half an hour before brushing.
- If discoloured teeth and other staining-related issues continue to bother you for long, you may opt for over-the-counter products such as whitening toothpastes, strips, etc. However, an advanced technology-based at-home teeth whitening kit, such as Fang Teeth Whitening System, usually works best in removing your food or drink-induced stains, and can surely provide you dentist-quality results at home!