teeth stain blog

Do This, Not That: 5 Quick Tricks to Minimize Teeth Stains

Red wine and coffee.

It’s unfortunate that two of life’s simplest pleasures are known to cause teeth stains. Many of our favorite foods are culprits, too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid them altogether. Read on for a few easy tips to minimize teeth stains.

Drink White Wine, Not Red

You may have seen this one coming, but here’s the science behind it: Anything that is acidic erodes tooth enamel, allowing colored compounds known as chromogens to affect your teeth. Tannins, which can be found in grape skins, tomato skins, and tea leaves can encourage chromogens to stick around, further darkening your teeth in the meantime. Red wine is a triple whammy because it is acidic, and it contains both chromogens and tannins!

White wine can be slightly less discoloring to your teeth for the time being. However, remember that white wine is acidic. It may not have the same immediate effect, but white wine’s acidity still makes teeth more susceptible to being stained by whatever you consume later.

Eat Cheese While You Sip

Now here’s something we can all get onboard with! If you do choose to drink wine, pair it with cheese. Why? Because cheese helps to neutralize the acidity of the wine, acting as a natural barrier protecting your teeth from chromogens. Also drink lots of water, both to wash away the chromogens and to take advantage of the tooth strengthening qualities in fluoride.

Order Alfredo Instead of Bolognese

The same way the grapes in red wine produce tannins, the tomatoes used to make pasta sauce are also a recipe for teeth stains. If you’re really cognizant of maintaining a white smile, it’s safe to bet that any food with dark coloring—think pasta sauce, curry, balsamic vinegar, etc.—is also high in chromogens. White sauces, on the other hand, don’t do nearly the same damage as the red options.

Skip The Green Tea

Coffee already has a bad rep for turning teeth darker, but did you know that the same thing that makes green tea so nutritious also accelerates teeth staining? The leaves in green tea contain a significant amount of tannins—more than coffee, in fact. Thanks to its mild acidity and dark color, green tea is surprisingly worse than coffee when it comes to encouraging chromogens to stick to your teeth.

Drink From a Straw

Though it’s not scientifically proven, drinking acidic, sugary beverages like sports drinks, coffee, wine, and tea from a straw can go a long way to protect freshly whitened teeth. Since it helps direct the beverage past the front of your teeth, a straw can serve as a great temporary (or habitual) solution so that you don’t have to give up these items altogether.

Does all of this mean that you should toss your bowl of spaghetti and swear off otherwise enjoyable beverages like green tea and the occasional glass of wine? No. Simply consume them a little less often, particularly immediately following the use of any whitening products—and brush your teeth before and after! The sooner you can clean your teeth, the less damage you will see and the whiter your teeth will stay.

Professional Remedies for Teeth Stains

Are you looking to brighten your smile? Let the professionals at Davis Gribble Hollowwa offer a personalized teeth whitening solution that fits your preferences. Our take-home kits are twice as powerful as over-the-counter brands. For those seeking a more thorough whitening, you can also schedule a visit for a one-hour bleaching.

Author Info

Dr. Connor Hollowwa

Dr. Connor Hollowwa is an Albuquerque native. He graduated from the Albuquerque Academy and went on to receive a BA from Rice University. His Doctorate of Dental Surgery is from Creighton University School of Dentistry. Since 2014 Dr. Hollowwa has practiced at the state-of-the-art Isleta Health Center’s Dental Clinic, providing modern dental care for the members of the Pueblo of Isleta. In his free time he enjoys playing the piano, fly-fishing, golfing, and skiing.

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