It’s hard to walk down the toothpaste aisle without finding whitening products of some kind. What might be even harder is finding everyday foods and drinks that don’t stain our teeth in some way! Here are a few helpful tips to help boost the sparkle in our smile.
One of the first things we can do is figure out what things may be causing tooth discoloration. Some of the more obvious products include tobacco, coffee, tea, and colas. A rule of thumb might be, if it has the ability to stain a porcelain cup (or maybe carpet), it probably has the like capability to stain teeth. Editors of "The Consumer Guide" mention other causes such as dark fruit juices like grape, red wine, soy sauce, and curry.
Dental hygiene prevention pretty much always starts with good, basic dental care. Brushing often and flossing regularly is the best approach towards whiter teeth. Plaque attracts stains, so removing the plaque through brushing and flossing is the first step.
As far as the quitting smoking and drinking teeth-staining beverages, obviously lack of consumption will aid in less stains. (I will be the first to admit, a cup of coffee is sometimes the only thing that will get me out of bed in the morning). So let's talk about ways we can reduce the teeth-staining impact of these beloved products.
If smoking is a habit, try brushing your teeth, swishing your mouth with water or mouthwash or maybe chewing gum after your smoke break. This will help aid in saliva production and reduce the leftover particles on teeth after smoking.
In terms of coffee, tea, or cola drinking, try drinking the beverage at one sitting rather than sipping drinks over a long duration. This way you can limit the exposure of staining time, and rinse the teeth after. If you are out of the house and unable to brush after the beverage, try chewing a piece of gum or swishing mouth with water or mouthwash in the bathroom. For colder drinks, using a straw may also help reduce the amount of beverage contact with teeth.
Small changes in your normal routine like these may help prevent ongoing or future teeth staining. Boosting your sparkle and not having to give up morning rituals alone might be something to smile about.
Claire is a twenty-three year old nursing student at Arizona State University. She currently lives in Tempe, AZ with her dog Bella.