The old adage, ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds very true when it comes to your teeth. The best way to maintain a bright smile is to avoid consuming staining substances. Moreover, if you have undergone teeth whitening treatments recently, it becomes equally important to avoid stains so that you can get the most out of the treatment.
Here are some substances that cause teeth discoloration and steps you can take to avoid it.
1. Drinking red wine, coffee and other beverages that stain teeth
Unfortunately, red wine, black tea and coffee do stain teeth if you drink them regularly, without rinsing your mouth afterwards. Dark pigments like chromogens in coffee and tannin in black tea can stick to the surface enamel of your teeth and cause them to darken over time. While adding milk to your tea and coffee will reduce the effects, a good way to combat staining is by sipping water or rinsing your mouth after you drink these beverages.
2. Consuming staining foods
Just like drinks, foods that stain your fingers will most likely stain your teeth as well. Such foods might include sticky lollies, beetroot, coloured berries, and dishes with rich, coloured base such as soy sauce, tomato-based sauce and spicy-curry sauces. Creamy and light sauces are less likely to stain your teeth.
3. Acidic beverages
Sports drinks and carbonated drinks can cause dental stains as these contain significant quantities of pigments, sugar and acid. Even some types of white wines can soften the tooth enamel, leaving them more prone to getting stained from other foods and drinks. These drinks should only be consumed in moderation or avoided altogether.
4. Holding drinks and food in your mouth
Avoid holding food and drink in your mouth as the more time it is in there, the more time it will get to leave behind stains. Swallow food after sufficient chewing and use straws for some drinks as these limit the time for the substance to come in contact with your teeth.
5. Not staying hydrated
Water is an essential factor for maintaining overall health but it also plays an important role in maintaining dental health. Drinking water or rinsing your mouth after any food and drink helps wash away staining substances from your teeth. Drinking tap water that contains fluoride can also help protect teeth against decay.
One more reason to quit smoking. Tobacco, whether chewed or smoked is another major reason for stained teeth. Smoking not only leads to stained lips and teeth but also other major problems such as oral cancer and gum disease.
7. Not flossing and brushing your teeth
Dental plaque formed on the teeth surface can retain stains. Good oral hygiene practices like brushing twice and flossing once daily can help reduce the build-up of plaque.
8. Avoiding dental visits
Good oral care demands regular visits to the dentist, where you can check for early signs of gum and teeth problems, and get treatment on time. You can also get dental advice according to your lifestyle.
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