Summer brings all the berries and fresh tomatoes from the garden. It can bring blue sno-cones, purple popsicles, and pink cotton candy for the kids, and cold brew coffees or wine at the outdoor cafe for mom and dad.
These delectable treats have something in common: they’re full of the colors that can stain teeth. Foods and drinks with color will transfer to teeth, so by August you might be wondering about how to avoid stains or even teeth whitening options.
The truth is that the best cure is prevention. People often think that fixing this colorful problem is as easy as an at-home whitening kit, but there really is no at home kit that we think does whitening as well as prevention and proper oral hygiene. Here’s what we suggest.
How to Eat Colorful Foods and Not Stain Teeth
It’s not magic, it’s just good dental care.
The best way not to stain teeth is not to avoid the color, but to prevent it from sticking around.
Here’s how you and your kids can keep your teeth nice and white, and save the money you might have spent on that whitening kit for more fun things with your family.
- Strong Enamel: You know the drill. Drink your milk and other sources of calcium, watch the level of acidic food and beverages, and of course, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
- Brush and Floss After Every Meal: Don’t let the stains set in. If you brush and floss after every meal, you’ll be way ahead of the stain game.
- Brush with Baking Soda: Baking soda can be a great way to avoid stained teeth. But remember, this should be a supplement to regular tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste. You can add brushing with baking soda a few times a week or every now and then. Learn more here.
- Bring on the Mouthwash: You might not be able to brush every time when you’re snacking on the go. Have some mouthwash on hand for rinsing between meals.
- Savor through a Straw: There are many environmentally friendly straw options out there, and they can help keep that purple punch from staining teeth by taking the drink straight through.
- Moderation: We don’t recommend cutting out all the color, but you can have too much of a good thing. Choose wisely.
- Dilution: Reduce the intensity of the color in your food and its potential to stain teeth by mixing in other more neutral items, like granola with your blueberries or some extra water in your grape juice.
- Go Natural: If you have a choice between items colored with food dye and foods that are naturally colorful, go with the natural option. You’ll gain the added benefit of nutrition these foods often pack in naturally.
- Add Leafy Greens: A little salad goes a long way! It makes you chew more and produce more saliva. That will start breaking down your food more efficiently. All the chewing can even help keep stains from setting in too.
- Hydrate and Swish: Water is powerful in many ways! Get into the habit of a swish or two between bites and after every meal. It can also help dislodge those berry seeds and other residual food from between your teeth.
What to Do When Your Food & Beverages Stain Teeth
If your teeth are already stained, you might consider professional teeth whitening. There is a major difference between the kits you see advertised on TV and what we can do here in the office.
Good news – we have no restrictions on bleaching procedures at the moment. If you’re not sure, ask at your next appointment, or give us a call any time to discuss the options.