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4 foods and beverages to avoid for whiter teeth

Dental Care Tips | 31st October 2014

A bright, white smile is one of the most longed-for features on the human body, yet many of us fall victim to a variety of foods and beverages that can affect the physical appearance of your smile. Cosmetic teeth whitening is perhaps the quickest, easiest and most effective way to instantly transform your smile from dull to dazzling, but there are other preventative measures you should take to ensure your teeth stay looking beautiful.

Coffee

It's no secret that coffee is a major offender when it comes to teeth discolouration. Sweetened coffee is particularly harmful, as it can raise acid levels leading to weakened enamel. On top of that, the dark coloured liquid tends to stain teeth, as the porous outer layer of teeth can absorb the colour. 

Red wine

Red wine is another teeth staining culprit, with the same porous layer of teeth soaking in its potent colour. Some people's tooth enamel is weaker than others', making them particularly susceptible to stained teeth. Like coffee, wine contains acids that increase how porous teeth are. When these pores open, it's easier for tannins in the beverages to interact with your enamel and darken the surface of your teeth. 

To lessen the impact drinking red wine can have on your teeth, take sips of sparkling water between glasses and swish it around your mouth to cleanse the mouth and prevent it from drying out. The carbonation can also help to gently scrub stains away before they set.

Pasta sauce

Tomato-based pasta sauces may taste delicious, but they could be responsible for some of the stains on your teeth. As tooth enamel is particularly vulnerable to strong colours, the intense red hue of pasta sauce can be quickly absorbed, particularly as the acid from tomatoes in the sauce makes the teeth more porous while you eat it. Try the water-swishing tip above to counteract this. 

Another tip is to eat spinach or lettuce before your sauce-filled meal – perhaps as an entree or salad. These leafy greens form a protective layer over the teeth, reducing the stain effect.

Blueberries

Blueberries are heavily pigmented, resulting in stains to the mouth, tongue and teeth after eating them. Despite this, these berries are packed full of powerful antioxidants to promote good health, so you shouldn't eliminate them from your diet completely. Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating these, and see a cosmetic dentist if you seek further assistance in maintaining white teeth.

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