With Easter celebrations happening this month and many eggs being decorated with bright beautiful colours it’s amazing to see how their shells can take on any colour you choose. Our teeth are also able to absorb colours from the foods and drinks we eat. Some of these foods have great nutritional value and we don’t want to limit them but we should be mindful when and how we’re eating them if you’re concerned about the colour of your teeth. With your orthodontic appliances these foods can stain your Invisalign trays or even change the colours of the elastic ties on your braces.
Examples of staining foods:
- Tomato sauces (like pasta sauce and salsa). Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium and folate but the pigment causing their deep red colour makes them notorious for staining tablecloths and teeth.
- Curry. This is a great food with powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s easy to see its staining effect on wooden spoons. Spices, like turmeric, can result in a bright yellow stain being left behind.
- Beet. Beets are packed full of essential nutrients and anyone who has prepared them knows that they very easily stain your hands. They also make for a great natural Easter egg stain!
- Cola. Apart from the many reasons we don’t recommend drinking pop regularly, the colouring, sugar and acid make for a perfect storm of weakening, yellowing, and starting cavities on your teeth.
- Berries. These are amazing! Especially during the summer months or added frozen to smoothies. Their bright colours can also leave our teeth stained and the same applies to fruit juices like cranberry and grape.
- Tea and coffee. Tea and coffee both contain tannins, which cause the staining. Those who drink black coffee and tea will notice more stains.
- For our adult patients: Red wine. The tannins in red wine have great staining potential and can leave our teeth with a purplish hue.
What can you do about tooth staining?
The best way to avoid these stains from happening is to be mindful when we’re eating these foods.
- Consuming staining drinks through a straw (preferably paper for the environment) bypasses our teeth to minimize staining and rinsing with water immediately after eating or drinking helps to quickly cleanse our teeth. It’s important to remember that while brushing your teeth is also helpful, brushing right after consuming acidic foods and drinks can actually hurt our teeth when they are already in a weakened state.
- Substituting beverages like black tea for herbal teas or even hot water can help reduce the amount of staining beverages we consume.
- Adding crunchy foods like apples, carrots, celery, and nuts to help naturally remove stains from your teeth and increase saliva production to cleanse your teeth and mouth.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and be sure to see your dentist as frequently as they advise.
If you’re still concerned about the shade of your teeth you can talk to your dentist about different whitening options available or feel free to ask us at your next appointment.