What Stains Your Teeth?
With the New Year here, maybe you are thinking of making some changes in your food, living, or drinking habits?
Learn about these drink choices and the effects they can have on your teeth..
Coffee or Tea:
You probably think the main cause of darkened teeth in the U.S. is a drink you brew for yourself in the morning. After all, more than half of Americans drink coffee every day. You can tell from its color that it’s high in chromogens, and it’s very acidic. Together, these factors help turn white teeth yellow over time. However, it’s not the worst culprit. That would be tea, which nearly half your fellow Americans drink every day. Not only is it full of acid, it also has tannins.
Red wine can be good for your health, but it’s not ideal for a bright smile. Wolff says three factors work against it: It’s very acidic, it has lots of tannins, and — as its deep purple color suggests — it’s high in chromogens, which land on your teeth and stick to them quickly Wolff says.
People who drink cola may notice their teeth turning yellow over time. That’s because soda is very acidic, and dark cola contains chromogens. Clear-soda drinkers also may get duller teeth because lemon-lime flavors contain acids, which make teeth prone to stains from other foods.
Tips to Keep Your Smile Bright:
- Brush right away. If you drink coffee at work, keep a toothbrush in your desk to use.
- Rinse your mouth. Can’t brush? Swish water around in your mouth after you eat or drink.
- Use a straw. Straws pull liquids inside your mouth, so the drink bypasses your smile.
- See the dentist. Going for routine cleanings helps to smooth the fine cracks in tooth enamel where color gets trapped.