Most people are aware that coffee, tea, wine, smoking, and aging can cause your teeth to become discolored and dull your smile. However, even if you don’t regularly consume any of these things, you can still have serious stains on your teeth just from your diet, even if it’s very healthy.
Ever heard of a superfood? A superfood has additional health benefits beyond the nutrients it provides. More of these are being discovered all the time, and they’re becoming more available in groceries all over the US as well as here in Longmeadow, MA. They’re extremely healthy, but did you know that some superfoods can cause serious stains to your teeth?
If your smile has lost its gleam recently or it just isn’t the white it used to be, for whatever reason, Dores Dental can help with in-office teeth whitening treatments.
A healthy diet is something everyone should have, but you shouldn’t have to give up your smile because of it! We’re not going to tell you to stop eating the foods that we cover in this post, but when you eat them you should take care to minimize the stains they can create.
How Do Stains Happen?
There are two key components that will determine if a food (of any kind: superfood or not) will stain your teeth.
The quantity and type of pigment molecules (colors) that are present in the food. The more colorful a food is, the more pigment molecules it contains, and the more it can stain.
The level of acidity is also a major contributor. Acids (like those in many fruits) can wear away enamel and even cause the teeth themselves to become softer. Your teeth may look solid, but their surface is covered with tiny pin-holes. Pigment molecules get stuck in these holes; over time, they will change the color of your teeth. When acid softens your teeth, these holes become more receptive to pigment molecules, accelerating and worsening stains.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind if you’re concerned about losing your white smile is this:
“If you wouldn’t wear a white shirt while you eat it, it will probably stain your teeth.”
Several fruits are considered superfoods, and many of them can cause your teeth to become stained. Fruits are highly acidic, and they contain a lot of pigment. If fruit is a big part of your diet, your teeth can be very easily stained. This goes for most brightly colored and acidic berries, like cherries, blackberries, or raspberries. Berries are nature’s candy in more ways than one!
Blueberries, for example, are nutritious and delicious. They also have been shown to have anti-aging properties, are chockfull of antioxidants, and help promote weight loss. Some studies show that blueberries can actually help reverse the damage to your brain caused by oxidative stress. It doesn’t matter how you eat them: whole, in juice form, or as part of a dessert like a cobbler or a pie. They’ll cause stains on your teeth and take the color out of your smile.
There are a lot of nuts out there that are superfoods. Most people don’t think about nuts causing stains, but some do. A great example is the walnut. Walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, but anyone who has ever picked walnuts will tell you that it will leave your hands covered with a black substance. Throughout history, that black substance has been useful as an ink and a hair dye. Walnut shells are still used as an industrial abrasive today! All that adds up to a darkened smile.
Tomatoes are in everything. They’re also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and evidence is growing that they play a role in preventing cancer.
Tomatoes are also red and very acidic. Once again, how you eat them doesn’t matter: whole, as a sauce, or even ketchup.
If you’re not eating more beets, you probably should. Beets contain a lot of vitamins and antioxidants, but most importantly beets help to control inflammation. A growing body of research is showing that inflammation is a major contributor or a component of many serious diseases, including diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases, gum disease, and cancer (to name a few).
Beets are also very colorful; they’re loaded with a very powerful pigment molecule called betanin. It can really, really damage your smile, especially if you prefer to take your beets in juice form.
Dores Dental and Zoom! Whitening
We can help bring back the color and shine to your smile. We use an advanced whitening system by Philips called Zoom! Whitening. It uses a combination of powerful whitening gels which remove staining molecules from the surface of the teeth and break them down. Then, a powerful lamp is directed at your teeth (your eyes and gums will be protected) that completely eliminates the stain.
What Can I Do?
If you’re eating any food that can stain your teeth (remember the “white shirt” rule), you can avoid stains by:
- Swallowing your food quickly
- Swish or Rinse with water (if brushing isn’t convenient).
- If you’re drinking a beverage or fruit juice, make sure to use a straw so the pigment goes right past your teeth.
Call Us Today and Get Your Best, Brightest, Whitest Smile!
We’re ready to get you a smile you can be proud of! Eating right will help you feel good; we make you look good!
Call our office at 413-241-3995, or use our online appointment form by clicking here.