You only get one set of teeth, so treat them well. While it’s common knowledge that things like smoking and chewing tobacco are bad for our teeth, there are also many foods and drinks that we consume on a regular basis that can also have a negative effect on out oral health.
So if you want to keep you pearly whites strong, healthy, and yes, white, be conscious of what you’re eating and drinking and always think of your teeth before you pop something into your mouth.
Brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist should be a given when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth, but even if you have a strict oral hygiene regime, there are still certain foods/drinks that can wreak havoc on your teeth.
When it comes to staining your teeth, extremely colored foods and drinks are usually the worst. A good rule of thumb, it you are worried about something staining your white shirt, it will most likely stain your white teeth.
Highly acidic foods (even when not intensely colored) can increase your potential for stained teeth because they will weaken the dental enamel, which in turn,will make it easier for chromogens (highly pigmented molecules) to latch on.
If you’re worried about staining your teeth, watch out for:
- Red wine
- Black tea
- Colored sports drinks
- Sweets—hard candies, chewing gum, popsicles
To keep your teeth from becoming stained, your best bet is to limit your consumption of these items. And yet, because many of them are rich in antioxidants, you don’t want to eliminate all of them completely from your diet.
When eating/drinking any of the above, try:
- Drinking through a straw when you can
- Swallowing promptly so the staining food/drink doesn’t sit it your mouth for too long
- Swishing with water after eating or
- Chewing sugar free gum after eating
- Give your coffee maker a rest, one cup a day will keep you awake without staining your teeth
Damaging tooth enamel
Cavities are the result of bacteria metabolizing sugar into acid that will then destroy the structure of our teeth,and unfortunately, they aren’t always easy to avoid.
To keep your enamel strong and to avoid an uncomfortable visit to the dentist to fill another cavity, limit these enamel dissolving foods:
- Sugar: no matter what type of sugar you prefer, white, brown or sugar in-the-raw, sugar will create a highly acidic environment that will linger in your mouth even hours after you’ve eaten it.
- Raisins and other dried fruit: these snacks are high in sugar and they can also get wedged in between your teeth that will then cause decay. If you do choose to eat them, be sure to floss and rinse as soon as possible.
- Alcohol: alcohol can dry out your mouth, reduce saliva production and will damage your enamel with its high acidity.
- Soft drinks: probably the worst on the list and one of the most harmful things you can put in your mouth (as far as your teeth goes), all soft drinks (even the sugar free versions) contain large amounts of acid, making them the biggest offender when it comes to tooth decay.
A smile is one of the first things we notice about a person upon meeting them and it’s something that can transform a face. It’s for this very reason that many people try to take good care of their teeth. So whether you are concerned about keeping your teeth white, cavity free or both, practice good oral hygiene, visit your dentist often, and limit or avoid the foods that will take a toll on your million dollar smile.
About the Guest Author:
This post was contributed by Anita, an avid blogger, a style guru and a writer. She loves cooking, travelling and cats. She is also doing some writing for Macy’s.