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Tooth staining – how and why, and what you could do to help

Why don’t teeth stay white?

Foods and drinks we choose, and factors such as smoking, play a role in staining our teeth. Sometimes certain antibiotics or other medications can cause some tooth yellowing. Generally, understanding which foods and beverages are more likely to discolour teeth and knowing preventive tips can help.

About foods and tooth staining

Chromogens give dark foods and liquids their rich dark colour. Think red wine, blueberries, pomegranate, colas, dark sauces like balsamic vinegar. They also contain pigment producing substances that cling to tooth enamel – especially when enamel is softened by acids.

Does drinking tea stain teeth?

Tannins assist chromogens in binding to the teeth. They are plant-based compounds responsible for the bitterness or astringency of black tea and red wine. Being both acidic and rich in tannins, tea is worse for tooth staining than coffee, which is acidic and full of chromogens. While those worst of all contain all three! These include red wine, cherries, blueberries, pomegranates and grapes.

How can I help prevent tooth staining?

While it sounds as though you have to give up everything you like, you can snack on or finish a meal with cleansing foods and drink such as salads, crisp veg and cheese. And rinse with or drink water.

Staining can’t be removed by brushing but can be gently polished off during a visit to the dentist

Bli Bli Smiles…for the teeth of your life