Keeping a minty clean mouth and pearly white teeth is important to a lot of people, but the foods we eat and beverages we consume sometimes aren't helping our cause. The colors and acidity of certain foods may have you reaching for teeth whitening kits, but there are a few items to be wary of to keep your teeth sparkling and beautiful.
"If you’re worried about spilling [the food or beverage] on your white tablecloth, you can be sure it’s got the potential to stain teeth," dentist Matthew J. Messina, told WebMD. "The more intense the color, the more potential there is for staining."
Fruits and berries with intense colors have the potential to stain your teeth. Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates and the juices of these same fruits may cause you to look for teeth whitening kits as well. Scarfing down a slice of berry pie may do just as much damage.
Say it ain't so! Unfortunately, dark red wine is just as likely to stain your teeth as it is to stain your shirt. Because of the high level of acid, chromogens and tannins, this delicious beverage is notorious for "greying" your teeth. However, if you love sipping down vino, even switching to white wine could leave your teeth stained. A study at the New York University School of Dentistry found that a glass of white wine followed by a cup of black tea- like Earl Grey - will do double damage to your pearly whites. If you're going to follow up with a steamy tea, opt for herbal, green or white varieties.
Speaking of tea, sipping on this beverage alone will do some damage to your teeth as well. Black tea is the worst culprit for staining because it is chock full of tannins - it is even considered to be worse than a cup of coffee. Other teas are also known to cause staining on the teeth as well, so if you are an avid tea drinker you may want to follow up each cup of tea with a glass of water to rinse the acidity out of your mouth.
Hard candies are a major culprit of a variety of mouth issues. From bad breath to yellow teeth, these sugary treats should be avoided at all costs. Hard candies - along with gummies and sweet gum - feed bacteria in your mouth that causes bad breath. Similarly, popsicles are known to stain the teeth because of the amount of sugar they contain and the sticky substance that grips onto your pearly whites.
You may be thinking: What caffeine can I drink? Unfortunately, coffee is on the list of teeth staining beverages because of its acidity. If you must gulp down a few cups of joe to get through your day, try to avoid adding sugar. The combination of these two ingredients is bad for the mouth. To avoid further staining, make sure to follow the beverage with a glass of water.
Avoid teeth staining and bacteria build-up in the mouth by using a straw, quickly swallowing and drinking water after consuming any of these teeth staining items. In addition, you'll want to maintain proper oral health care regularly. Since many of these items will also cause bad breath, brushing, flossing and using mouthwash will help eliminate both problems. However, it's important not to brush right after drinking acidic beverages or eating sticky candies. Using an abrasive toothbrush on your already sensitive teeth will chip away at the enamel.