6 things that stain teeth
We could create a list of 305 things that stain teeth if we wanted. But what are the main offenders? Let’s look at the six substances most likely to turn your gleaming pearly whites to mellow yellow.
Surprise, surprise, coffee can stain your teeth, and if you don’t know that by now, it’s time to wake up and smell the toothpaste. Most staining occurs through acidity which changes the pH of the mouth. Coffee makes this situation compounded as it contains tannins (acidic polyphenols) that lead to staining and discolouration.
Further damage can be created from coffee by the foods that may be consumed afterwards if they are acidic.
Yes, sorry, tea doesn’t get off lightly either, although ‘lightly’ is the way you want to drink your tea if you want your teeth to stay white. Green tea can send teeth grey, and black tea can lead to a yellow tint.
The darker the tea, the more likely it’s full of teeth-staining tannins. Research has shown that adding milk to your tea reduces its ability to stain so consider a dash in your cup.
3. Soft drinks
Let’s forget all the hideous tooth decay concerns soft drink bring to the table. Soft drinks also put their hand up as dire teeth-staining drinks. Soft drinks make the tooth more porous and therefore more susceptible to staining. Dark beverages such as cola can then lead for further darkening.
4. Fruit juices
The acidity from juices, primarily citrus, can lead to a yellowish tinge to your teeth. This can lead to an erosion of the enamel which can enamel, which can expose the yellow-hued dentin beneath the enamel. Juices to really avoid include dark-coloured fruit juices, such as cranberry, blueberry and grape juices are liable to leave stains on your teeth.
5. Tomato sauces
Yes, possibly a bit of a shock as tomato sauce is such an Australian staple, but look at the colour. Anything as richly coloured as tomatoes will stain your teeth, so watch out when you’re preparing all those delicious Italian dishes for the whole family.
It is a no brainer to realise that red wine stains teeth but did you know white wine can do the same? Wine like other beverages causes staining due to acidity and more specifically tannins which causes discolouration and tooth stains. Red wine can cause a grey tint to teeth and white wine can cause the surface of the tooth to develop little pockets for other acidic foods to create a stain within.
How to avoid staining?
Here are a few tips to keep your teeth white.
Drink water regularly to wash the staining out of your mouth. Rinse your mouth with water and swish it around to reach all areas.
Choose water over other beverages as much as possible.
Brush your teeth within 30 minutes of eating.
Regular flossing will remove plaque which builds up between teeth and attracts stains.
If you are going to drink beverages that stain such as wine use a straw to keep the liquid away from your teeth.
Drinking your coffee or tea through a cup with a lid helps reduce staining.
Chew gum to stimulate your saliva which cleans the mouth.
Include crunchy fruit and vegetables in your diet as they increase saliva and help to remove the staining of your teeth as they “scrub” while you chew.
Talk to your Dentist about professional treatment and whitening options.
If you’d like to expand your interest in dental into a professional career, our HLT35015 Certificate III in Dental Assisting course would be perfect for you! Alternately, you can check out some of our other Dental courses. Enquire now or call us on 1300 471 683 to speak to one of our career advisors for more information today.