One of the most common questions from my patients is how they can whiten their teeth and brighten their smile due to the staining from foods and beverages. I often tell my patients who are not sure which foods and beverages could stain their teeth to go by this rule of thumb: If it stains your carpet, it can stain your teeth!
Our teeth are composed of enamel and acts as a protective barrier that prevents cavities and tooth decay and also give your teeth their white color.
Certain foods and beverages we eat and drink everyday can break down the enamel in our teeth and cause stains. Microscopic ridges on each tooth can catch residue from these beverages, and can cause discoloration. The discoloration can be caused by artificial food colorings and the acidity levels in beverages like in coffee, tea and cola. These beverages can discolor your teeth due to their darkly colored pigments.
Colas also contains high levels of acidity and they can actually break down the enamel in your teeth. Several processed foods that we eat can also cause staining due to the food coloring in these products. This includes fruit juices, popsicles and even tomato sauce. For more examples of foods that can stain your teeth.
Maintaining your regular brushing and flossing is the best way to eliminate discoloration and keep your smile bright.
For those with stained teeth that brushing alone will not get white enough, another great option is teeth whitening. Talk with your dentist for more information on wether whitening is right for you.