Yellow teeth can be a bummer. Many foods and drinks that are both nutritious and delicious can keep your pearly whites from living up to their namesake.
If you want a dazzling white smile without giving up your favorite foods and drinks, there are steps you can take to keep the stains from setting in.
Foods and Drinks that Cause Tooth Staining
In the fight against yellowing teeth, the first step is to be aware of which foods are likely to cause issues.
If a food leaves stains on your skin or clothing, there’s a good chance it also will result in staining on your teeth. Some common foods that are rich in color and likely to discolor your teeth include:
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Dark beverages like coffee, tea, cranberry juice, cola, grape juice, and red wine
After you drink or eat these items, a big step toward protecting your smile would be to rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. This will wash away a lot of the residue that is likely to stain your chompers.
Five Methods for Cutting Down on Staining
Fortunately, there are tactics that you can use to avoid these foods and drinks from discoloring your smile. The following methods may significantly decrease your chance of staining and protect your mouth:
- Try Using a Straw: Sipping beverages that are likely to cause staining through a straw reduces the amount of time the liquids stay in contact with your smile.
- Follow it Up with a Thorough Brush and Floss: Plaque, the bacteria that forms in your mouth, creates a sticky surface. This is the ideal place for stain-causing particles to cling. This is just one more reason why it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
- Alternate With Sips of Water: When you sip on red wine, coffee, tea, or cola, try alternating each sip with a drink of water. This will rinse your mouth between sips, increase saliva flow, and help you savor your favorite drink for a longer period of time.
- See a Dentist Every 6 Months: Visiting your dentist twice a year is important for your dental health, and it can also cut down on incidence of staining. Professional cleanings can take away some of the surface stains and tartar that can yellow your smile.
- Avoid Smoking: There is nothing healthy about smoking. It can lead to heart disease and various cancers, plus, it can yellow your teeth.
Foods that Help Remove Stains
So many of us need our coffee, cola, or tea as part of a normal routine, but we know that these yellow our teeth. Fortunately, in addition to the list of foods that cause tooth discoloration, there are also foods that help to reduce staining and protect your teeth.
Foods that have high water and fiber content help you to produce saliva, which binds with the natural fibers to help clean your teeth. Foods that are rich in minerals like calcium, iron, and B vitamins provide nourishment that your pearly whites need to stay healthy. Examples of these types of foods are:
- Shitake Mushrooms
Citrus fruits are another hard hitter for keeping your teeth white and healthy. Just be sure to wait 30 minutes after consuming these fruits before brushing–the acid in them temporarily weakens your enamel.
Keep in mind that these tips mostly help to prevent stains, not remove them. If it’s too late for prevention, check out our whitening page to find out how Lowry Main Street Dental can help you to achieve a whiter smile.