A bright, white smile is the ultimate anti-ageing confidence booster. That’s why many of us invest in whitening toothpastes, home whitening kits or aesthetic dental sugery to realign troublesome teeth.
But your diet could be making that bright, white smile less attainable than you might realise. Certain foods stain teeth by building plaque, damaging the enamel or causing acid erosion. When we’re thinking about the foods (and drinks) that stain teeth, red wine instantly springs to mind but the other common culprits on your plate might surprise you.
Oral-B Smile Director, Dr Uchenna reveals the suprising foods that stain your teeth…
Lemons and oranges
Citrus fruit like lemons, limes and oranges contain the tooth’s ultimate nemisis – citric acid. This erodes the enamel on your teeth, often causing sensitivity and cavaties.
Thanks to their high carbohydrate content, potatoes and pasta aren’t great for your smile. Why? Well carby foods build plaque – and those that contain wheat and gluten (pasta) are even worse.
‘Everyone has some level of plaque on their teeth – it’s unavoidable’, Dr Uchenna says. ‘This invisible enemy is the number one cause of a multitude of oral health issues, from tooth decay to bad breath – and gum problems – none of which will help you achieve a beautiful healthy looking smile.’
Just like red wine, beetroot is strong in colour so could be to blame for those browny, yellow stains on the surface of the tooth. Veggies like spinach and celery are a much better idea.
Many of us know the pain and discomfort a chipped tooth can cause, not to mention the cost! If you’re tempted to crunch on the ice in your cold drink then stop immediately. It ruins the enamel. And, unlike your skin or hair, once a tooth is broken the body cannot fix it.
And a top tip from Dr Uchenna? Brush your teeth before breakfast. ‘Usually we eat something sweet or acidic with breakfast and it will take at least 30 minutes for the negative effects to wear off’, she says.
‘So brushing straight after means you’re brushing acid in to the teeth! Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash after breakfast is the best course of action and refreshes the mouth.’