Your teeth is normally white in color; however as you age, they turn to yellow as a result of tooth’s enamel wearing out. Aside from your body’s natural process causing discolored teeth, what you eat and drink can also cause teeth stains. Foods that stain teeth are:
- Coffee – It contains acid that can wear out the tooth’s enamel when drank regularly, thus resulting to a yellowish teeth. Coffee also contains polyphenols, responsible in staining teeth.
- Black tea – It contains high levels of tannins as compared to other tea variants. Tannins can stain your teeth.
- Wine – Red wine contains polyphenols and tannins, which can stain teeth; while white wine have an acidic content that wears out the tooth’s enamel when drank frequently.
- Cola, carbonated and sports drinks – They contain acids and high amounts of sugar and when combined with bacteria in the mouth, they form to acids that can wear out the tooth’s enamel, resulting to teeth’s yellowish color.
- Candies – Due to its high sugar content, they can form into acids when combined with the bacteria in the mouth. These acids can cause enamel erosion when regularly exposed to the teeth.
- Colored sauces and condiments – They can stain your teeth overtime when if they are eaten in regular basis.
- Berries – They are rich in polyphenols, a known ingredient to stain teeth.
To prevent teeth staining caused by these foods and beverages, it is best that you rinse your mouth after eating and drinking to remove the acid or stain. Use drinking straws in consuming colored and sugary beverages to minimize their contact with your tooth’s enamel. If straw is unavailable, you may want to swallow these beverages quickly to reduce their contact with your teeth and minimize their staining effects. As much as possible, do not brush your teeth after eating or drinking foods with acidic and staining properties because during this time, the tooth’s enamel is soft and brushing can only lead to enamel erosion. Wait for at least 30 minutes to one hour when the enamel hardens, to brush your teeth.
With the advancement in cosmetic dentistry, there are many ways to remove teeth stains thus eventually achieving whiter teeth. Teeth whitening can be either done at home using over-the-counter teeth whitening products or supervised by a professional in dental clinics. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products such as whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses and whitening strips and gels contain hydrogen peroxide used to whiten stained teeth. You can also use teeth whitening trays that contain concentrated peroxide gels to whiten teeth. The duration of wearing these trays depend on the severity of the stain in the teeth. Your dentist will give you specific instruction in how to use these trays. Lastly, you may want to consider undergoing in-office whitening, where a whitening product is applied on your teeth and a special light or laser is then used. This treatment may take several visits to achieve the desired whitening result. Compared to other whitening treatments, this method delivers a more noticeable result.