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Keep Your Teeth Pearly White

Keep Your Teeth Pearly White

How to keep your teeth stain free…

Keeping your teeth white can be challenge for anyone, and that’s because brushing and flossing simply isn’t enough. In order to keep your teeth pearly white, you’ll need to stop smoking, stop drinking coffee and red wine, and start watching what you eat.

Certain foods and beverages – including some that are not brightly colored – contain intensely pigmented molecules known as chromogens, and these chromogens have a tendency to latch onto dental enamel.

The acidity of the food or drink also contributes to the discoloring of the teeth. High acidity erodes dental enamel making it easier for the chromogens’ to bond with the teeth, which in turn promotes staining.

Another family of compounds known as Tannins also promotes staining by boosting the chromogens’ ability to latch on.

Knowing this science and applying it to your daily eating habits will help keep your teeth naturally bright.

keep your teeth naturally white Keep Your Teeth Pearly White

Foods That Stain The Teeth

  • Wine – Red wine, an acidic beverage that contains chromogens and tannins, is notorious for staining teeth. But white wine, too, promotes staining. In a study conducted recently at New York University School of Dentistry, teeth exposed to tea were stained more severely if they previously had been exposed to white wine.
  • Tea – The ordinary black tea most people drink is rich in stain-promoting tannins. Dentists say it’s a bigger stainer than coffee, which is chromogen-rich but low in tannins. “Tea’s pretty aggressive,” says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, chairman of the department of cariology and comprehensive care at New York University School of Dentistry in New York City. Herbal, green, and white teas are less likely to stain than black tea.
  • Cola – Acidic and chromogen-rich, cola can cause significant staining. But even light-colored soft drinks are sufficiently acidic to promote staining of teeth by other foods and beverages. “Carbonated beverages have similar acidity to battery acid,” Messina says, adding that cola-stained teeth are most common among “people who have a can on their desk all the time and sip all day long.”
  • Sports drinks – Recent research led by Wolff found that highly acidic sports drinks can soften tooth enamel — setting the stage for staining.
  • Berries – Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, and other intensely colored fruits (and juices, pies, and other foods and beverages made from them) can cause stains.
  • Sauces – Soy sauce, tomato sauce, curry sauce, and other deeply colored sauces are believed to have significant staining potential.
  • Sweets – Hard candies, chewing gum, popsicles, and other sweets often contain teeth-staining coloring agents. If your tongue turns a funny color, dentists say, there’s a good chance that your teeth will be affected, too. But unless they are consumed regularly, these sweets probably play a minor role in teeth staining, says Maria Lopez Howell, DDS, a dentist in private practice in San Antonio.

Tips To Keep Your Teeth Pearly White

In addition to staying away from teeth-staining foods, you can try minimizing the contact between your teeth and stain-promoting substances. Dentists offer several suggestions:

  • Use a straw – Sipping beverages through a straw is believed to help keep teeth-staining beverages away from the teeth — the front teeth, in particular. No, you’re probably not eager to use a straw for coffee or wine. But it shouldn’t be too much trouble to use a straw for cola, juices, and iced tea.
  • Swallow promptly – Swallowing stain-causing foods and beverages quickly is also believed to help protect teeth from stains. Obviously, it’s important to chew foods thoroughly before swallowing. And gulping can, of course, cause choking. But don’t retain things in your mouth for long periods of time. In other words, savor flavors — but not for too long. “There’s no question that the quicker you drink something the lower the exposure [to stain-promoting substances],” says Debra Glassman, DDS, a dentist in private practice in New York City.
  • Swish with water – It’s not always convenient to brush your teeth after having something to eat or drink. Even when it is, it might be better not to: dental enamel is highly vulnerable to abrasion from tooth brushing for up to 30 minutes after the consumption of an acidic food or beverage. So it’s safer simply to swish with water — and brush later, once the enamel has had a chance to re-harden. Another way to remove stain-causing substances without brushing, Howell says, is to chew sugarless gum after eating or drinking.

If you’re looking for a stain removing remedy, there is always the option to undergo a cosmetic dental procedure. Teeth whitening might not cost as much as you think, if you would like to find out more, please click here>>>

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