If you brush regularly and maintain good dental hygiene, you may be dismayed to find that your teeth have still become stained over time. You may be surprised to learn that your diet could be contributing to the appearance of your smile. Even some healthy foods can be harmful when it comes to tooth discoloration. In this post, your Rochester, MN dentist explains some of the foods that could be responsible for the blemishes on your teeth.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration?
There are three factors that affect the staining potential of foods: color, tannins, and acidity. Unsurprisingly, dark, rich-colored foods are more likely to stain your teeth. These foods receive their color from highly-pigmented chromogens, which naturally latch on to tooth enamel. Tannins are organic compounds found in many foods and beverages. These substances actually boost the ability of chromogens to adhere to your teeth. Finally, high levels of acidity can erode your dental enamel. Chromogens easily adhere to the soft underlying layer below the enamel.
Foods to Watch Out For
Though a number of foods can cause dental staining and discoloration, some of the worst culprits include:
- Wine – Wine is high in acidity, tannins, and chromogens. Though red wine is better known for its ability to cause stains, white wine can cause discoloration, as well.
- Soda – Even sugar free colas are harmful to your teeth. Carbonated beverages are extremely high in acidity. In fact, some sodas have a similar pH level to battery acid. Excessive soda consumption can do serious damage to your dental enamel.
- Black Coffee – Dark colored coffee is high in chromogens. However, adding some milk to your coffee can greatly reduce the staining ability of the beverage.
- Tea – Some types of tea can be even worse for your teeth than coffee, since the drink is high in tannins as well, as chromogens. However, while black tea and Earl Gray are bad for your smile, green tea can actually kill bacteria that cause gum disease and dental decay.
- Berries and Other Fruit – Though fruits like blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and pomegranates are considered some of the healthiest foods on earth, their dark color can stain your teeth. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should give up these beneficial foods, but you should be careful to rinse your mouth out thoroughly after you eat them.
Whether your diet or some other factors are responsible for your stained teeth, Calgano Family Dentistry offers both in-office Zoom and at-home teeth bleaching to help you achieve a whiter, more brilliant smile.
About Dr. Calcagno:
Dr. Gilly Calcagno is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Minnesota Dental Association, and is active in local dental implant study clubs. To schedule a consultation, call Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659.