Few aspects about an individual’s personal appearance are more noticeable than a brilliantly white smile. Not only can a mouth full of pearly white teeth help you feel better about yourself, they can also provide you with the confidence to succeed in your personal and professional lives. Of course, keeping your teeth looking their brightest can seem exceedingly difficult, especially if you love to consume teeth staining foods and drink, which include coffee, red wine, soy sauce, tomatoes, blueberries, and cranberry juice.
Enamel, considered the hardest substance found in the body, covers your teeth with a clear coating. The color of your teeth is actually determined by the dentin, the soft interior of your teeth, which sits underneath tooth enamel. While enamel starts off clear, a lifetime of consuming foods and drinks that stain enamel can slowly make your smile appear slightly dingy or yellow.
Fortunately, enamel staining is reversible, and there are certain steps you can take that can help offset the affects of staining. At Harmony Dental, Dr. da Costa and his friendly and professional staff want every patient to enjoy the brightest smile possible. To help each of our patients smile confidently, here are a few helpful tips that will keep you smiling your brightest.
A Whiter Diet
Just as eating certain foods can stain your teeth, there are some foods that can actually help make your smile whiter. Firm fruits and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and apples actually work as natural whiteners for your teeth. When you eat these types of foods, your mouth begins to produce additional saliva, which helps to wash away lingering food particles that would otherwise stain your teeth if left in place.
Other types of foods, such as strawberries, even contain special enzymes that work just like Mother Nature’s very own bleach for your teeth, while foods like broccoli contain minerals that form a protective barrier on your teeth that prevents staining.
Watch What You Drink
When trying to decide if what you’re about to drink can possibly stain your teeth, consider what would happen if you spilled the beverage on a white shirt. When considered in this context, beverages such as soda, tea, coffee, red wine, white wine, and fruit juice all make the list.
What make these types of beverages so damaging to the complexion of your teeth isn’t their color, but the high levels of acidity they contain. When you consume a beverage that has a high acid content, you raise the acidity levels in your mouth, which allows the liquids you’re drinking to do more damage to tooth enamel. To help offset this increase in mouth acidity, you need to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re someone who drinks several cups of coffee or bottles of soda a day. Try making it a point to take a few sips of water while consuming one of these teeth staining beverages so your teeth stay white and bright.
Maintain Your Oral Health
As we have already discussed, what you eat and drink plays a vital role in how your teeth appear. It only makes sense that in order to prevent discoloration of your teeth, you need to make sure your oral health remains strong. Brushing and flossing daily, along with scheduling regular checkups with your dentist, will clean away any lingering food particles, harmful acids, and plaque that can otherwise ruin the color of your smile. If you don’t have the time or opportunity to brush after each meal, make sure to give your mouth a through rinsing with water following every time you eat.
A variety of over-the-counter whitening products have hit the market in recent years that can help to restore some luster to your smile. Whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, strips, and trays all have their own unique advantages and drawbacks. Talk with Dr. da Costa about which whitening product is right for you prior to starting any whitening regimen.