After appointments for tooth whitening and countless nights of whitening strips, you may still find yourself struggling with teeth staining. But what exactly causes the staining? Dentists explain that are certain foods and drinks that are prone to staining teeth.
To start off, foods and drinks with intense color tend to be big culprits of staining. The higher the pigmentation in color, the more likely it will cause a deeper stain. The color that is inherent in these foods comes from chromogens, which are highly colored molecules that have a strong affinity to dental enamel. This means that these molecules are more likely to stick and stay on your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks, even ones that may not be considered intensely colored, also lead to staining due to the erosion of dental enamel. These types of food tend to soften teeth, which makes it easier for chromogens to stick on. Another promoter of teeth includes tannins, which are food compounds that enhance chromogens’ ability to attach enamel.
Here are various foods and drinks that may leave you susceptible to teeth-staining:
Wine: red wine is considered an acidic beverage that holds both chromogens and tannins. Also, don’t be fooled! White wine, although almost colorless, also promotes staining. The New York University School of Dentistry presented studies that demonstrated that teeth exposed to tea were more likely to be more severely stained if they were previously exposed to white wine.
Tea: black tea is very saturated with stain-promoting tannins Dentists state that tea may leave teeth even more severely stained than coffee, which is chromogen-rich, but low in tannins. However, if you are a tea-lover and need your daily fix, some less teeth-staining alternatives include herbal, green and white teas.
Cola: it is obvious that this deep brown beverage (which is highly acidic and chromogen-rich) causes major teeth stain, but what you may not know is that the acidity of light-colored soft drinks also leads to a sufficient amount of teeth staining. Try your best to cut down on these carbonated drinks and reach for less acidic alternative.
Sports drinks: we know of the harmful effects of sports drinks on teeth enamel, and sure enough, the weakening of teeth enamel leads to more susceptibility to staining. Read more about these effects in our post Hold the Gatorade!
Berries: although strawberries and blueberries are high in anti-oxidants and are known to be healthy food choices, they are highly pigmented in color and are very likely to stain teeth.
Sweets: after working through a lollipop, you may sometimes find yourself with a different colored tongue; this is a good indicator that hard candies, chewing gum, and popsicles can also lead to stains as well
Although there are many foods and beverages that can cause teeth staining, that doesn’t mean that cannot be eaten; just be sure to brush well! Dentists also suggest using straws to sip on beverages that are acidic and highly pigmented in nature. Swallowing stain-causing foods quickly also helps to protect your teeth. Swishing and rinsing after consuming and drinking can also lessen the acidity and remove the substances that cause teeth staining.
If you have any concerns, Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org!