Tooth whitening is an elective procedure that is undertaken to remove staining and discolouration from teeth. It is one of the most commonly-done cosmetic dental procedures and can vastly improve the colour of teeth following the procedure. However, the results of tooth whitening are not permanent, since teeth can still pick up the same stains they were exposed to prior to the procedure. Proper oral care is, of course, essential to keeping your bright smile, and this includes avoiding foods and drinks which can stain your pearly-white smile. Below are some of these foods.
Curry is a popular spice used in Indian cuisine among other exotic foods. It has a deep yellow pigmentation that can cause tooth yellowing over time. Therefore, try to limit your curry consumption. You can mitigate the effect by munching fruits and raw vegetables which prevent tooth staining such as carrots, celery, apples and cauliflower.
A number of the commonly ingested beverages are actually triggers for tooth darkening. Drinks like soda, energy drinks, coffee, tea and wine can make your enamel more prone to staining because of their acidic nature. This applies to teas of all kinds, including green and white teas. Such beverages are especially detrimental to your teeth because they soften the enamel, making it more prone to pick up stains from other foods. White wine can cause tooth staining as well as red; in fact, white wine has a higher acid content than its counterpart.
Limit your intake of such beverages, but also don't brush your teeth immediately after taking them. Brushing immediately will remove the weakened enamel, causing your teeth to thin over time. Instead, allow time for the weakened enamel to reconstitute itself with the help of your saliva. You can help wash down such beverages with a drink of water, though.
Berries have immense health benefits, including providing anti-oxidants needed to reverse cell damage from free radical oxidation. However, the deep-coloured pigments responsible for colouring in cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries can also stain teeth, whether eaten whole or crushed in juice or in jams and jellies. You don't need to avoid them completely, but washing them down with water to rid your teeth of the staining pigments will help. Avoid letting them stay in the mouth for too long. You can also eat some hard cheeses or take a glass of milk after to strengthen the teeth and neutralize the acid in the berries.
4. Pasta sauce
The acidic nature of tomatoes, the main ingredient in pasta sauce, weakens the enamel, leaving it vulnerable to staining from the former's bright red pigments. Similar to curries, you can chew on raw crunchy vegetables and fruits like celery, cauliflower, apples and carrots after eating pasta sauce to stimulate saliva production which washes away the acid from your teeth.
5. Balsamic vinegar
Dark balsamic vinegar is a popular and healthy ingredient in many salad dressings, but its dark pigments can stick to and stain your teeth. It is also acidic, so it softens the enamel to make it more stain-prone. If you're using balsamic vinegar in your dressing, include crunchy vegetables like lettuce and carrots which will clean the vinegar off your teeth while eating.