Your teeth can stain for a wide variety of reasons, including naturally from age and the foods you eat. While there are a variety of cosmetic dental treatments that can erase your teeth’s blemishes, understanding the mechanisms that stain your teeth can help you prepare and protect your smile. For your smile’s sake, we examine how dark-pigmented foods and beverages leave their impression on your teeth.
It’s the Little Things that Count
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that food’s color is the main contributor to its tooth staining abilities. Taking a closer look, however, you’ll see that the various colors of your meal are dictated by small molecules called chromogens. These particles have an annoying tendency to cling to your tooth enamel, marring your tooth’s natural shine with the tint of your food and drink. When bacteria in your mouth consume sugar and carbs, they produce lactic acid that weakens and erodes your tooth enamel. With enamel damaged, chromogens can gain a stronger hold and your teeth can stain much quicker.
Be Proactive Against Tooth Stains
You can help reduce chromogens’ effectiveness by taking a few precautionary steps. For instance, drink water with every meal, or at least rinse your mouth with water afterwards. This will help wash away bacterial plaque, food debris, and chromogens to decrease your risk of tooth stains. Also, use fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinse to help keep your enamel strong against acid attacks, and your teeth resilient to stains.