Preventing Tooth Discoloration

July 16, 2019

We all want glowing pearly whites. Unfortunately, many healthy, tasty foods and beverages can get in the way of our ideal smile, causing tooth discoloration over time. You don’t even have to be eating junk food for it to happen.

Sick of your morning coffee ruining your teeth? There are ways you can curb the staining power of many of your favorite foods and drinks while still getting to enjoy their benefits!

Keep reading for our tips and tricks…

Staining Foods & Drinks

BlueberriesThey don’t call it “tea-stained” for nothing. If a food or drink can stain your skin, clothing or other items in your house, there’s a high likelihood that it will stain your teeth as well. Common offenders include:

  • Dark beverages including tea, coffee, soda, red wine, grape juice and cranberry juice
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato sauce

After consuming these and any other strongly pigmented foods, try to remember to rinse your mouth thoroughly even if you don’t have time to properly brush.

Five Ways to Stop Stains

Luckily, we’re not doomed to choose between a lifetime of abstaining from staining foods and yellow teeth. Follow these techniques to keep your smile looking its whitest and brightest:

  1. Sip on Water: If you can’t forego your coffee, tea, or red wine (we don’t blame you!), try alternating your sips with water. Not only will it help to dilute the effect of the pigments on your teeth, but it will also extend the life of your beverage.
  2. Use a Straw: Straws are great for directing drinks away from your teeth. For sodas and juices, this is a particularly good option.
  3. Brush and Floss Afterwards: The sooner you can get the plaque off your teeth that gives staining pigments a place to cling, the better. Keeping up with your daily oral care routine is key to making sure your teeth stay white. Be sure to get in each nook and cranny so discoloration doesn’t have room to set.
  4. Quit Smoking: Even with the best brushing and flossing routine, the tar from smoking or chewing tobacco is a powerful staining agent that’s hard to beat. There’s so many reasons to stop smoking—let this be another to add to your list.
  5. Keep Up With Checkups Every 6 Months: Your hygienist will be able to remove any persistent plaque that has hardened into yellowing tartar, giving your smile a refresh.

Tooth Whitening Foods

PineapplesDid you know some foods can actually help whiten your teeth? Some have fibers that naturally brush your teeth and encourage saliva production, while others have enzymes and acids that eat away at tough stains.

Try these foods for stain-fighting power:

  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese
  • Apples
  • Pineapples
  • Carrots
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Shitake Mushrooms

Another food you’ve probably heard can whiten your teeth is citrus fruits. This is true, but be warned the acids also temporarily soften your enamel. Whenever eating citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes, be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming them to brush your teeth so you don’t cause any unnecessary damage.

Hopefully, these tips help you maintain your sparkly white smile! If stains persist, professional whitening options are available. Just visit our whitening page to learn more.