If you want to keep your teeth white, you may want to make an effort to avoid foods that stain your teeth. It goes without saying that foods that are intensely colored tend to be the biggest offenders. If you worry about spilling a particular food onto your white tablecloth, this is a good sign that it has tooth-staining potential, dentists say. The color in tooth staining foods is derived from chromogens, which are intensely pigmented molecules that have a penchant for attaching themselves to dental enamel. However, the presence of chromogens is not the only factor that will determine whether or not a particular food has teeth-staining potential.
Another key factor is acidity. Acidic foods – including certain ones that are not brightly colored — tend to promote staining through the erosion of the dental enamel. This results in the temporary softening of the teeth, which makes it easier for chromogens to latch on. In addition, there is a family of food compounds called tannins which also promote staining by further boosting the ability of the chromogens to attach to the enamel. Below is a look at some of the foods you shouldn’t consume if you wish to keep your teeth white.
Avoid Foods That Stain Your Teeth
If you are determined to keep your pearly whites their whitest, you will need to brush and floss daily. You will also need to visit your dentist periodically, while also avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco. However, dental health experts advise that you should also be mindful of the following foods that are known to stain teeth.
· Berries – Blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, pomegranates and other intensely colored fruits and pies and other foods made from them may result in stained teeth.
· Sauces – Tomato sauce, soy sauce, curry sauce, along with other deeply colored sauces are believed to have the potential for significant tooth staining.
· Sweets – Chewing gum, hard candies, popsicles and other sweets often contain coloring agents that stain the teeth. If the food you eat causes your tongue to turn into a funny color, chances are they will also transform your teeth from white. However, unless you are regularly consuming such sweets, they will typically not be a major cause for concern with regards to teeth staining.
The irony is that most of the foods that tend to stain the teeth are loaded with antioxidants that offer key health benefits. Therefore, if you are worried about having your teeth stained, you may want to cut back on such foods rather than cutting them out entirely.
Dental health experts advise that moderation, coupled with a balanced diet are key. It is important to also take steps to minimize contact between the teeth and these stain-promoting substances. This may for instance involve swallowing promptly. Failure to swallow stain-inducing foods fast enough is believed to leave teeth vulnerable to staining. While it is important to properly chew your food before swallowing, avoid retaining such foods in the mouth for prolonged periods of time.
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