There are many foods and beverages that people consume that leave their teeth with stains and discoloration. Some of the worst offenders include pasta sauce, coffee, sodas, and red wine. While most of these items will not leave teeth with permanent stains after a single meal, regular consumption will gradually leave some unsightly stains. These stains will not be easy to remove with at-home teeth whitening products.
Five tips to reduce the staining effects of food and drinks
1. Add milk when possible
Adding milk to red wine is probably not an option, but milk can help soften the staining effects of certain drinks like coffee and tea that turn teeth brown or yellow. The milk lightens the coloring agent in the drink and contains proteins that bind to the polyphenols – the substance that stains teeth – in the coffee.
Instead of the polyphenols binding with the teeth and staining them, it simply moves on to the stomach. Generally speaking, the higher the fat content of the milk, the more protection it provides from the staining effects of coffee or tea.
2. Use a straw
People are less likely to deal with stains and discoloration if the beverages barely make any contact with the teeth. When drinking from a cup, the liquid washes over the teeth before swallowing. Using a straw to drink beverages like coffee, tea or soda significantly minimizes the staining effect. Sure, drinking coffee or wine with a straw might seem strange, but it certainly helps when it comes to keeping teeth stain-free.
3. Go for beverages with less caffeine
This might be harder for some to do given the fact caffeine is one of the reasons people drink things like coffee in the first place. However, the more caffeine a beverage has, the more powerful its staining effects are. For example, decaffeinated coffee contains fewer polyphenols than regular coffee. Keep this in mind when purchasing a favorite drink.
4. Brush after drinking beverages that stain your teeth
One of the most effective ways to prevent stains from forming on the teeth is by removing any residue of beverages that lead to discoloration after consuming them. Brush the teeth after consuming these drinks, or, at the very least, rinse the mouth with water or milk afterward.
It is often best to wait about an hour after consuming these drinks before brushing the teeth since the acids in them soften the enamel. That makes it easier for the enamel to be damaged while brushing.
5. Get a professional teeth whitening treatment
The truth is when consuming beverages that contain powerful coloring agents, there will be some discoloration over time. Fortunately, dentists have access to whitening agents that are more powerful than the whiteners sold at supermarkets. Head to a dentist when noticeable discoloration starts to develop.
Want more tips on preventing stains and discoloration? Contact one of our dentists today.
Request an appointment in our Roswell dentist office here: https://www.mariettaroswelldentist.com.