Is your favorite beverage staining and damaging your teeth? Trust me, I love a morning cup of coffee just as much as anyone, but did you know that many of our favorite beverages can damage and stain your teeth? Coffee, tea, wine and other alcoholic drinks, sodas, juices, and sports drinks can do harm to your teeth.
So what is it about these drinks that is bad for your teeth?
The 3 main factors in these drinks that cause staining include: tannins, acidity, sugar, and chromogens.
Chromogens are pigmented compounds that stick to your enamel. Tannins enhance the ability of these chromogens to stick to the enamel. Acidic and sugary drinks, such as sports drinks and juice, erode and roughens the tooth enamel; this creates rough patches that stains easily stick to.
I am not recommending that you completely give up all of your favorite drinks, but here are a few tips and tricks to minimize staining and keep your teeth pearly white:
- As you sip those tasty drinks, don’t forget to swish with water between sips. This will help rinse and remove some of the particles sticking to your teeth.
- Limit the amount of TIME you spend sipping sugary, acidic drinks and snacking. Rather thank sipping your coffee all day, drink it quickly. Every time you consume foods and beverages, the pH in your mouth drops and makes your teeth more susceptible damage. The longer the acid and sugar is on your teeth, the worse it is for your teeth. Minimizing the amount of time these acids and sugars are on your teeth is better for the health of your teeth.
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly
- Try drinking your favorite drinks through a (reusable) straw to minimize the amount that touches your teeth.
- Keep your regular dental checkups and cleanings.
- If your teeth are stained, talk to your dentist or orthodontist about tooth whitening options. Professional tooth whitening options can help whiten your teeth from the INSIDE out.
I hope these tips help you maintain a bright white, healthy smile while enjoying your favorite drinks. If you have any questions or are interested in whitening your teeth, please reach out.
Have a great day,
— Dr. Kirsten Frazier