At Porter Dental Health Clinic, patients often ask what they should be doing to prevent teeth discoloration. The truth is that maintaining a pearly white smile takes work. A good amount of staining can be avoided if you are willing to make some moderate lifestyle adjustments. Dr. Lance Porter and Dr. Will Warren offer the following tips for keeping your teeth white:
Avoid Staining Foods and Drinks
Consuming certain foods and drinks can stain the teeth. Examples include:
- Red Wine
- Fruit juice
- Cola or dark-colored sodas
- Tomato sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Soy sauce
Although you do not necessarily have to eliminate these from your diet entirely, the less you consume them, the easier it will be to keep your teeth white.
Focus on Good Foods
Rather than fixating on what you should not eat, you may want to focus on the foods that help you to avoid stains. Eating crunchy, water-packed produce like celery, carrots and apples forces your mouth to produce more saliva, which can help neutralize staining acids. Dark green vegetables like lettuce and broccoli can help to coat your mouth in a film that helps teeth to avoid staining. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt have calcium that not only strengthens the health of the teeth but neutralizes harmful acids.
Use a Straw or Also Drink Water
When you do drink staining beverages like wine, cola or coffee, consider using a straw. A straw that is placed well beyond the teeth helps prevent the front of your teeth from becoming discolored as you drink. Another strategy is to have a glass of water to drink from in between sips of your other beverage. The water can help to wash away some of the discoloring acid.
Brushing your teeth not only keeps your teeth healthy but also clears away the acids that discolor the teeth. If you’ve consumed something that is known to stain, you may wish to brush your teeth as quickly as possible rather than waiting until just before bed to minimize the amount of time the acid can stain. You can also purchase tooth whitening toothpaste to help keep your teeth brighter.
By now, you should be aware of how detrimental smoking is to your health. As it pertains to your mouth, tobacco use can contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. While cosmetic concerns may seem secondary to those factors, smoking can also turn your teeth yellow. Heavy smokers may even see their teeth turn a shade of brown. If you have a tobacco habit, it is difficult to keep your teeth bright and white.
See a Dentist
While these tips are a good way to avoid staining your teeth further, if your teeth are already yellower than you would like, you may be a strong candidate for cosmetic dentistry. One hour-long professional teeth whitening session can make your teeth up to several shades whiter. For an appointment with Dr. Porter or Dr. Warren, please call (501) 624-2778.