If you thought that darker-colored food and drinks would have little or no effect on discoloring your teeth, think again! The experts tell us that if any fruit or drink can stain a white T-shirt, then it can be just as disastrous for your white teeth.
Any acidic food or drink is likely to cause your teeth’s enamel to wear away. The enamel is the gleaming-white coating on your teeth that keeps them shining, until you get old and/or consume too many colorful foods and drinks. The next layer is called dentin, and that is always a shade less white. The secret is to avoid these acidic substances. If you do eat or drink them, rinse your mouth with water afterwards. This will limit the damage, somewhat.
Here are 10 foods and drinks to avoid and six ways to limit the damage and help you keep your teeth gleaming white.
1. Red or white wine
Not just red wine as you would expect, but also white wine is not ideal for keeping those teeth white. The reason is that they both contain tannins, which are really yellow and brown polyphenols and can leave a dirty footprint on your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after a cup of wine would alleviate the problem.
You cannot get a darker liquid than this, so the effect on your white teeth is less than great. One solution is to use more milk in it if that does not spoil the taste.
Strong black teas may be just as stimulating as a cup of coffee but they also have the same disastrous effect on the color of your teeth. Experts say that opting for herbal and lighter-colored teas may help.
4. Balsamic vinegar
Dark,sumptuous and great for staining teeth. The good news is that if you use it on salads or spinach, these tend to lessen the drastic effects.
Wonderful taste! But the colors of curry will leave your teeth a bolder shade of yellow if you indulge in these exotic spices all the time. Spinach will protect the enamel of the teeth so an Indian dahl with spinach may be perfectly justified.
6. Tomato sauce
Who can resist tomatoes in pasta sauces and other dishes? Well, if you cannot, your teeth may begin to appear darker. It is not just the color of tomatoes but also the fact that they are highly acidic. Again, one solution is to have spinach in the same meal.
Raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are full of healthy vitamins and other life-enhancing nutrients. The only problem is that they are highly colored and will leave their mark as they tend to stick to your tooth enamel. So next time after eating berries remember to drink some water.
8. Colas and sodas
The problem with these is their dark color, but there is additional trap. If they are very cold, teeth will tend to contract and that makes them more porous so they will absorb more color. The same goes for very hot liquids like coffee and tea. The best way is to avoid cola because cola itself is not healthy at all. Only drink it once in a while if you really like it.
9. Soy sauce
You may have to limit your intake of soy sauce if you want to keep your teeth sparkling white and worthy of a dentist’s testimonial. Most commercially available soy sauces do not use fermented soy as that takes too long to make. They go for a faster, cheaper option which uses soy proteins with hydrochloric acid. This type of chemical soy sauce is not great for white teeth. Try to taste the original and natural flavour of food next time before you dip it into soy sauce.
Beets have a lot going for them. They are full of great vitamins and minerals. The only problem is their dark-red color which will definitely stain your teeth. Rinsing with water afterwards can help limit the damage.
6 Easy Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
1. Brush your teeth immediately?
Why have I put a question mark here? The reason is that after consuming all those acidic and highly colorful foods mentioned above, the tooth enamel is softer and weaker, so vigorous brushing will further damage it. Experts say that it is better to wait about half an hour before brushing your teeth.
2. Don’t forget your tongue
Your tongue accumulates a lot of waste matter which, if left there, will continue to discolor your teeth. If you want whiter teeth, it is better to brush your tongue on a regular basis so that you are removing this toxic dump!
3. Use apple cider vinegar (ACV)
This is a double-edged sword as it is rather acidic so it can potentially damage the tooth enamel. But if you rinse your mouth really well, then brush with your regular toothpaste, you will probably see some good results. Most people say that you have to do this consistently for about a month.
4. Apples, celery, and cauliflower are great
If you are fond of very colorful fruits such as berries, it is always a good idea to eat an apple to finish off your fruit snack. Apples are great to bite on, are a light color, and act as a detergent to keep your teeth white. As you chew on an apple, it acts as a sort of toothbrush by scrubbing your teeth gently. Pears are just as good. As regards veggies that are just as useful, go for carrots, celery and cauliflower. Check out the other tooth-whitening foods here.
5. Drink water after eating citrus fruits
When you eat oranges or other citrus fruits, try to rinse your mouth with water immediately afterwards as this will rinse away all that acid.
6. Everyone needs their dental hygienist
Whether you opt for getting your teeth whitened by a professional or not, a visit to the dental hygienist or dentist just for teeth cleaning is a great way to keep those teeth sparkling white. Removing plaque and giving teeth a thorough cleaning every six months will help you keep that great smile impeccable!
Have you any tips to pass on which are useful in keeping teeth sparkling white? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured photo credit: Smile / Rupert Taylor-Price via flickr.com