Foods That Discolor Your Teeth

Do you frown when you smile in the mirror? Many people do because of the stains on their teeth. The good news is there are ways to prevent getting stains, and there are ways to remove them, too. 

In this blog, our providers at Cherry Family Dental explain how teeth stains develop, which foods are most likely to stain teeth, and how you can remove stains if you have them.

Two types of stains

There are two types of teeth stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are those that occur on the surfaces of teeth, and intrinsic stains are those that occur inside teeth.

Extrinsic stains are caused by consuming certain foods and drinks and by using tobacco. Intrinsic stains are caused by ingesting too much fluoride, taking certain medications — such as antihistamines, blood pressure-lowering drugs, and antibiotics — and by using mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride.

Best and worst foods for your teeth 

The main source of enamel damage, cavities, and gum disease is Streptococcus mutans, a type of bacteria that feeds on carbohydrates. When you consume foods that contain carbohydrates and simple sugars, these bacteria release acids that can damage enamel and lead to cavities. 

So what does weakened enamel have to do with stains? Unfortunately, a tooth with weakened enamel is more likely to develop stains when it comes into contact with foods and drinks that have strong pigments. Foods with strong pigments include coffee, tea, fruits, and vegetables. 

There are, however, foods that don’t release enamel-harming acids. These foods include all those that are derived from the animal kingdom, such as meat and eggs. This doesn't mean you have to forgo fruits and vegetables and just eat meat, but you need to take a balanced approach.

Reducing your risk for developing stains

When putting together your meals, include protein and healthy fats. And certainly do include healthy portions of fruits and vegetables. However, try to limit your consumption of coffee, tea, and sugary drinks.

And furthermore, practice a good oral hygiene routine. This would include brushing and flossing at least twice a day — or preferably after meals — to keep your teeth free from stain-causing food particles. And if you can’t brush your teeth after eating, try to rinse your mouth with water. And also make sure to go to your annual or biannual cleanings. 

Treating dental stains 

Prevention is key in maintaining a pearly white smile, but what can you do if your teeth are already stained? Fortunately, with the help of our staff at Cherry Family Dental, you can remove or cover your dental stains with the help of cosmetic treatments.

If you have stains on the surfaces of your teeth, we may recommend teeth whitening. If your stains are within your teeth, we may recommend veneers, which are tooth-colored shells that go on the fronts of your teeth. No matter what type of stain you have, we can find a solution to make you look forward to smiling again.

To learn more about preventing or treating stains, book an appointment online or over the phone with Cherry Family Dental today.

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