When you decide to get your teeth whitened in Indianapolis, you want your results from the whitening to last for as long as possible. While regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleaning will help you maintain a healthy smile, it’s not enough to keep your teeth bright white: teeth can be completely healthy and still pick up stains.
Instead, your best course of action is to cut back on the food and drink that caused your teeth to get stained in the first place. Here at the dental practice of John R. Phelps, DDS, we have collected some of the most common causes of teeth staining into a short list. To preserve your teeth whitening results as long as possible, you may wish to avoid:
1. Coffee, Tea, and Soda
Most caffeinated beverages are partially responsible for teeth staining. This doesn’t have to do with caffeine so much as it has to do with the acidity of these drinks: coffee, tea, and soda are all acidic to a certain degree, and this acidity can wear away the white layer of enamel on the outside of your teeth. All three also have strong pigmentation that affects tooth color.
2. Red and White Wine
Along with tea, red wine is a beverage unusually high in tannins. Tannins are compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables that make it easier for your teeth to stain. Everyone has seen how red wine temporarily turns your teeth a reddish-pink color, but even white wine can make it easier for other foods and drink to darken your teeth.
3. Tomato Products
Whether it’s marinara sauce, tomato juice, or even fresh slices of tomato on your hamburger, this highly acidic fruit spells trouble for your teeth.
Any dark-colored berries are likely to have lots of chromogens, which stick to your teeth and turn them a darker color. Blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, cherries, and blackberries are particularly harmful for your teeth.
5. Balsalmic Vinegar
The dark color can lead to tooth stains, and the vinegar can stick to your teeth, making it easier for them to stain. Putting it on your salad mitigates these effects, however, because the roughness of lettuce helps clean sticky particles from your teeth.
6. Gummy Candies
These can stick between your teeth, particularly in places that are difficult for a toothbrush or floss to reach. They usually contain food coloring, which can stain your teeth as well.
In order to limit the amount these foods and drinks can stain your teeth, it’s important that you take precautions. Brush your teeth as soon as possible after meals, or, if you can’t do so immediately, drink a glass of water. Chewing sugar-free gum during the day stimulates your salivary glands, which slows the spread of bacteria in your mouth. Eating foods that are high in fiber, like apples and pears, can cut down on staining as well.
By paying careful attention to your diet and oral hygiene, you should be able to maintain your teeth whitening results for a good amount of time. To begin the teeth whitening process, schedule an appointment with John R. Phelps. You can fill out a form on this web page, or call us at 317-793-6133. Dr. Phelps serves patients in Indianapolis and the surrounding communities.