- Watch what you eat and drink. Foods like berries are great for your body, but snacking on them all day long will leave you with stained teeth. Berries have malic acid, which leaves the surface of your enamel slightly more porous, allowing the chromogens (staining molecules) from the juice and pulp to penetrate your teeth deeply. Red wine contains tartaric acid along with chromogens and tannins. The tannins piggyback onto chromogens and are good at trapping more chromogens. Colas have good staining potential, as well as lots of sugar and acid: a triple threat to your teeth. Curries are yummy, but make your teeth look crummy. Be sure to brush your teeth within 1 hour of eating curries. For acidic foods and drinks, wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth since the surface enamel has been weakened and needs time for your saliva to strengthen it up again. Otherwise, you may just brush away weakened enamel, leaving your teeth sensitive and more yellow.
- Stain-fighting foods: try to incorporate veggies such as lettuce, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower into your diet. These foods leave a thin film on your enamel, blocking the chromogens from your tooth surface. Veggies aren’t just for rabbits!
- Coffee and tea: Our everyday fixes. With widespread knowledge of tea’s cancer and age-fighting antioxidant properties, and coffee’s ability to ward off liver, lower bowel and ovarian cancer, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, it is unlikely that we will give these beverages up.
There are two things that you can do to fight staining:
- Swish or drink some water between cups of coffee or tea and
Add a splash of milk to lighten up the colour and add a dash of calcium!
- Drinking through a straw will minimize contact of staining liquids with your teeth!
- If you can’t brush after eating or drinking coloured foods, the best thing to do is to chew sugarfree gum! This will stimulate salivary flow, gently rub the surface of your teeth, and give you fresh breath for that after-lunch business meeting or romantic rendezvous.