Are you one of the 64% of Americans who drink at least one coffee every day? Or one of the 25% of Americans — at least — of Americans who drink red wine regularly? If you answer yes to either or both of those questions, you may be staining your teeth with every sip of those indulgences. Coffee and red wine are two drinks that can stain the enamel in your teeth no matter how well you brush and floss.
Coffee and red wine aren’t the only everyday items that can stain your teeth. Strongly colored foods and drinks like tea, curries, blueberries, pomegranates, colas, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, fruit juices, and even tomato-based sauces can all change the color of even the healthiest teeth.
What’s the best way to prevent those foods and beverages from staining your teeth? It’s as simple as abstaining from consuming any of them. Of course, a suggestion that you abstain may be much easier said than done. If giving these foods and drinks up for the sake of whiter teeth is not a realistic option, what else can you do?
Drink plenty of water
Drinking water after drinking any potentially staining beverages — coffee, tea, colas, and red wine are the biggest culprits — can help you prevent the staining of your enamel. The water will act as a rinse and help to remove any staining substances from your teeth.
Chewing gum — ideally sugarless considering the negative effects of sugar on your teeth — after drinking coffee, tea, colas, and red wine will also help to prevent staining. That’s because chewing that gum will increase the production of saliva in your mouth, and saliva helps to remove staining compounds from your teeth.
Brush and floss
The abrasiveness of toothpaste and the friction of toothbrushing can help to remove staining materials from the surface of your teeth directly. Brushing and flossing can also indirectly prevent staining by reducing the amount of plaque that is on your teeth. Stains attach to plaque attached to your teeth very easily and, from there, will affect your teeth. By reducing the amount of plaque on your teeth, you’ll reduce the risk of stains.
The foods and drinks you consume are two of the most controllable factors that can contribute to stained teeth, but there is a third significant factor — smoking. The tar and nicotine contained in cigarettes can, while smoking, quickly produce yellow and brown stains on your enamel. For smokers, the best tip for preventing stained and discolored teeth is simple — quit smoking.
Factors outside your control
There are other factors that can produce discolored teeth that are outside your control, which is not to say that nothing can be done about them. Teeth whitening compounds won’t work on these stains, but your dentist in Livonia will offer suggestions about how to resolve stained teeth that are caused by the following factors:
- Discoloration caused by serious tooth infections
- Discoloration caused by injury or trauma
- Discoloration caused by the side effects of some medications, such as high blood pressure medication, antipsychotic drugs, and childhood antibiotics
If, despite all these tips, you find your teeth getting stained and discolored, teeth cleaning in Livonia can help remove those stains. Teeth whitening by a dentist near you can also eliminate stains that linger. For stains caused by infections, trauma, and medications that don’t respond to whitening, your dentist in Livonia will offer alternative cosmetic dentistry options. For advice about teeth whitening and how to get the cleanest and healthiest possible teeth, contact a dentist near you.