The Top 4 Baddies: Foods That Stain Your Teeth (and What You Can do About It)

“I want a dingy smile,” said no one ever. We all want a smile that lights up a room like an incandescent bulb. So what can you do about it? For starters, you can avoid certain common foods that are known to stain and darken your pearly whites. Here is a list of the top dental offenders you should cross off your shopping list (or at least cut back on):

Wine

A good merlot is hard to beat, especially when paired with a sumptuous meal, but wine has a dark side (that can end up darkening your teeth). The same tannins that make wine flavorful and lend a mellow taste tend to stick to the naturally occurring plaques on your teeth.

To avoid this problem, you can brush your teeth before you eat. This will reduce the amount of plaque and the likelihood of dental stains. It should be noted that you should not brush your teeth right after enjoying a glass of wine as that may actually spread the acids around your teeth. You can also rinse out your mouth or use a tissue after sipping wine for better results. (Sparkling water is especially good for reducing the chances of staining.)

Coffee

When you are struggling to wake up and face that glacial rush hour traffic, the easy caffeine fix in a cup of Joe seems hard to pass up. The only problem with that is the polyphenols in coffee can easily bond to your teeth. Ironically enough, those same chemical compounds also protect your enamel from the harshness of the acids in a cup of coffee. (They also impart the complex flavor of your favorite Starbucks morning latte.) Here’s some good news though: simply adding creamer or milk with a high-fat content allows the polyphenols to bind to the cream instead. Because it is based on the chemistry of fat content, fat-free and soy milk won’t work to reduce staining. Sorry dieters!

Medications

Some medications such as antibiotics and anti-histamines have a tendency to stain teeth. Your health has to come first, so before you stop a medication, always consult your healthcare provider. They may be able to offer another medication that is just as effective and appropriate for your health.

Smoking

Smoking is simply terrible for your body at many levels. Besides damaging your lungs and heart, smoking wreaks havoc on your dental health too. So much so that it can easily lead to stained teeth or even gum disease and tooth loss. While we can whiten your teeth, we recommend that you try to quit smoking. If you need help, talk to your doctor about a smoking cessation program.

No matter why your teeth are discolored, McCalla Dental can help. We offer the advanced KöR Whitening system that is so advanced it actually makes your enamel stronger. The system utilizes the power of oxygen to dissolve stains deep inside your teeth, leaving you with a stunning smile that you will be proud to flash.

Call today to find out more.