There are many things that you may not realise are causing your teeth to appear discolored and stained. At Fullarton Park Dental, we want to help you before it becomes a problem for you, so we have listed a few common ways to avoid tooth staining. These tips are also important for people who have had teeth whitening treatment,or fillings/crowns where the colour was matched to your natural teeth.
Coffee contain pigments called chromogens which can stick to the surface of your teeth, causing staining. Black tea and red wine are also common culprits for causing those unwanted stains.
Now, we know you won’t want to go without your coffee, so there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the effects.
- Add milk, milk is a good source of calcium and it will not cause as severe stains as black coffee.
- Rinse your mouth with water afterwards. Water contains fluoride which will help rebuild your teeth, as well as flushing away the coffee residue from your teeth to reduce staining.
A general rule for knowing which food will stain your teeth is by which foods stain your fingers. This includes things from berries to lollies or even condiments such as soy sauce.
Be aware of which foods cause staining and have a glass of water afterwards (which will even help with the next tip)
Staying hydrated is important to keep your saliva levels healthy, as well as mechanically flushing away the stain-causing food.
An easy way to get on top of this is to ensure that in addition to your normal water, you are rinsing your mouth after eating and drinking stain-causing items.
Acidic drinks stain your teeth in a different way. When drinking carbonated or acidic drinks such as wine or soft drink, the acidity can ‘dissolve’ or wear away at the top layer of your tooth, the enamel. This weakens your tooth, making it more porous and prone to staining.
We recommend to only drink these in moderation, and over a shorter time. If you take a few big mouthfuls of a drink your teeth are coming into contact with the drink much less than if you are sipping on it for an extended period of time. Even better? Use a straw!
Your eating habits
Similarly to acidic drinks, the longer you leaving staining foods in contact with your teeth, the more stain that transfers.
Aim to leave staining food and drink in contact with your teeth and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
Smoking is a major cause of staining on the surfaces of your teeth, as well as having other detrimental health effects, both dentally and otherwise. Aim to cut down on your cigarettes, or contact your health professional for support and information on how to quit.
Not coming in for your regular dental visits and looking after your teeth
Brushing and flossing can remove the build up and plaque and the food from your teeth. Early stages of dental decay can be stained and is sometimes visible on your front teeth. In addition to this, although our fillings are very well colour-matched, it is not as good as real teeth, and can sometimes pick up extra staining on the borders.
We also offer professional tooth whitening with products that are only available to dentists. If you are interested, give us a call on (08) 8272 5271 or let us know at your next regular check up!