Last week we reminded our readers to spring clean their mouths by heading to the dentist for regular smile –maintenance.
This post will delve into the intricacies of maintaining that squeaky clean smile and what to do to reduce staining.
If you are a regular human who eats and drinks through their mouth, then chances are your teeth have experienced some degree of staining. We all know that our daily coffee/tea drinking habits cause some tooth discolouration, and one doesn’t have to stretch the imagination to appreciate the staining effects of red wine, but these life sustaining drinks aren’t the only robbers of your lustrous smile. Here is a list of some of the lesser-known culprits that are also guilty of turning the lights off in your mouth:
- Food and drink with high acidity content. Acid works against our teeth by wearing away the shiny white enamel, exposing the yellow dentin underneath. Some foods and drinks are a double threat because they are both acidic and deeply pigmented (*):
- White wine
- Fruits and berries, including blackberries and blueberries*
- Balsamic vinegar*
- Soft drinks*
- Energy drinks
- Any candy/food colouring that stains your tongue will also likely stain your teeth
- On that note, the harder the candy, and the more time it spends in your mouth, the more damage it can do
While we hardly suggest you eliminate all tooth staining food from your diet, there are simple maintenance tricks you can do to reduce the damage to your chompers. When drinking your coffee, you can try using a lid or a straw, but swigging swiftly will be the most helpful in keeping the time for staining low. Always rinse your mouth with water after consuming any of the offenders above, and try and brush your teeth shortly after ingestion.
Despite our best efforts, stains creep up on us, and it only takes one simple trick to see how far your teeth have fallen from their original shine. By comparing your Chiclets to something white (say, a tissue), you can determine or yourself if you’d like to up the shine factor for a more confidant smile.
Our next post will detail the two professional, safe, and gentle approaches to tooth whitening offered by your dentist: take home kits versus in office treatment.