Tooth discoloration is one of the most common complaints that we get from our patients. It should be no surprise that certain foods and drinks are tooth stainers, but there are some foods you might not suspect on the list. Here's a look at some common--and some not-so-common--offenders:
- Coffee, tea and wine are at the top of this list because they're so widely enjoyed. It's estimated that 64% of Americans drink coffee every day, so it's no wonder so many teeth are discolored by it. Tea and wine (yes, white wine is a culprit too) leave stains as well. The stains they leave are on the tooth surface and don't usually cause long-term damage.
- Soft drinks and sport drinks attack your teeth with a discoloring combination of sugar, acids and artificial coloring agents. Enjoy these in moderation, if at all.
- Acidic foods like oranges, lemons and tomatoes may be unsuspecting stainers, but the acid in them eats away at tooth enamel and discolors the dentin under the tooth surface. Because bits of these foods tend to remain in the mouth longer than beverages, they can do deeper damage.
- Spice and sauce, the same ingredients that add zest to food can cause staining. Pasta sauce, curry, and balsamic vinegar are prime culprits, as is any food with deep color or high acidity.
Brushing shortly after eating or drinking anything on this list will help keep your teeth and smile bright, and we can do some whitening or deep cleaning when your stains go deeper. Just give us a call to make an appointment!