Which Drinks Stain Teeth the Most?
Everyone loves a brilliant white smile, and they also love their beverages. These two loves can sometimes clash, as certain drinks can discolor your teeth.
How Staining Happens
The outer layer of your teeth, the enamel, has tiny pores. Bits of food and drink can get into the pores, and this will leave a stain. Acid from food can eat away at the enamel to make the pores bigger, and changes in temperature can also enlarge them. Either condition makes staining more likely.
Certain chemicals make staining more likely too. Chromogens are colorful compounds that can stick to the enamel, and tannins help the colors adhere. Foods with a lot of both are going to get into the tooth enamel.
Fortunately, when drink particles get caught in the enamel, it’s only affecting the outside. This is called ‘extrinsic staining,’ and it’s relatively easy to get rid of. Some types of stains affect the delicate layers under the enamel, but that’s not from what you drink. That’s from things like being exposed to a lot of fluoride or certain antibiotics as a kid, or from trauma the tooth suffered. That will require professional attention if you want it removed.
Here Are the Drinks Most Likely to Mark Your Teeth:
- Colored Sports
Drinks While many people don’t think of sports drinks as staining, they do have the potential. The food dye used to make your favorite sports drink deep red or brilliant blue can attach to your teeth. This dye particularly loves exposed roots.
- Red Wine
The dark purple color comes from having many chromogens. Red wine also has a lot of tannins from the oak-barrels it ferments in. White wine still has some tannins and it is acidic, so it can make your teeth more likely to stain if you eat something colorful afterward.
Famous for turning teeth brown, coffee is acidic and full of chromogens which give coffee its deep brown color. It probably gets its reputation more from the rate at which people drink coffee throughout the day, since the more you drink, the more you stain.
Carbonated drinks hit your teeth with a double whammy. They are acidic, and typically contain caramel food coloring, which can stain your teeth pretty effectively. Light-colored citrus-flavored sodas are similar to white wine in that they don’t have a color of their own to deposit, but the acid in the drink can open your teeth to staining.
- The Biggest Offender- Black Tea
The tannins in black tea cause worse staining than coffee. The acidic drink is also full of chromogens. It doesn’t matter if you drink yours iced or hot: both ways will leave a mark on your teeth.
Combating Teeth Stains
- Cut back on those drinks
Teeth are sensitive to dosing: if you have just a bit of something, you probably won’t have a problem.
- Use a straw
Particles don’t have as good of a chance to cling to your teeth that way.
- Rinse right after drinking these types of beverages
That will remove the chromogens and tannins from your mouth before they have a chance to do their work.
- Don’t let the drink linger on the teeth
Aim the liquid past your teeth and swallow quickly so that it doesn’t touch the enamel.
- Get your teeth professionally cleaned regularly
Brushing and flossing can help immensely, but a dentist can deep clean your teeth. They can remove the plaque that can give stains a foothold, and they will remove the particles that may be collecting in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Additionally, they can evaluate the stains and decide if they indicate a bigger problem.
At Ideal Dental, we value the importance of oral health immensely. If you want to learn more about teeth stains, or how to get them removed, stop by your local Ideal Dental.
Ideal Dental was founded in 2008 and has over 80 locations across the state of Texas. Ideal Dental offices provide patients with a wide range of dental services including general dentistry, teeth whitening, orthodontics, oral surgery and emergency dental. Ideal Dental’s mission is to put smiles on the faces of hundreds of patients that visit its offices daily.