What Foods and Beverages Can Stain My Teeth?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Some of your favorite foods and beverages that we consume every day may have a negative affect on our oral health. These foods can cause our teeth to discolor and our enamel to wear away. The reason that foods and drinks can stain your teeth are due to microscopic ridges that food and beverage particles can get stuck in and cause your teeth to look stained. 
Beverages like coffee, tea, and sodas can also discolor your teeth due to the dark pigments that can get trapped on the surface of your teeth. Colas also have high acid content that can wear your enamel down, expose your dentin, and make your teeth look discolored. 

Additionally, certain foods, like processed foods, contain food coloring that will stain your teeth. These foods include fruit juices, popsicles, tomato sauce, candies, cereals, and more! Here are more examples of foods that can stain your teeth. A goo rule to keep in mind when considering if a food will stain your teeth is: "If a food might stain a white shirt, it will probably stain your teeth".

The protective barrier of our teeth is known as our enamel and protects our teeth from cavities. Enamel is also white in color, giving your teeth their white appearance. Certain foods however, contain acid which will wear your enamel down and expose your dentin. Your exposed dentin is yellow and will give your teeth a discolored look. Additionally, with less enamel other foods will be able to stain your teeth more easily. The best way to reverse this is to use a mouth wash with fluoride to restore your enamel.

And, one of the most common questions I hear from my patients in our Delaware office, is how can they whiten their teeth and brighten their smiles due to the staining from foods and beverages.

I always instruct them to maintain a good brushing, flossing, and mouth wash routine in order to eliminate tooth discoloration and prevent it from happening in the future. 

If you believe that your teeth are too stained for brushing, mouthwash, and floss to make a different a great option is a good teeth whitening system.

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