Some foods should be avoided for a whiter smile
We see many patients every week who come to us in search of whiter teeth. Sometimes there’s nothing we can do to avoid natural discolouration- time and age simply don’t make it possible for us to keep our pearly whites so white. But other factors like smoking and diet can contribute to yellowing teeth, and these can be avoided. Here are some foods we suggest avoiding:
Fruit juice is healthy, right? Well, kind of. Fruit juice is high in essential vitamins and nutrients, which are great. It is also high in acid and sugar, which is bad. But the worst part of all is that people don’t think about the sugar content when they choose juice, thinking they took the healthy option. In reality, a single bottle of apple juice has twice as much sugar as a Cadbury Cream Egg, and is just as bad for your teeth.
Acidic or acid forming foods
Many acidic foods are healthy. For example, good wine vinegar or kimchi contain a lot of anti-oxidants. Despite these health benefits, the acid can still be a problem for your mouth in large enough amounts. If you have sensitive teeth, you may want to consider eliminating acidic foods from your diet. Similarly, all animal products are in a category of food called “acid-forming.” This means that they break down into acid in a rapid chemical process. Even worse, many of these foods are sticky and get caught in teeth, giving them a chance to form acids. Eating less meat and cheese is generally a good idea health-wise, and definitely good for your teeth, so look into it.
You’d think a drink marketed to active people would be healthy, right? Nope! Turns out, sports drinks have tons of acid and sugar that eats away at your teeth. If you need to stay hydrated, look into pure electrolyte formulations, or eat bananas and salty proteins before working out to keep your minerals up.
Strongly pigmented foods
Not all tooth staining comes from acid or bacteria. A common culprit is pigment, strongest in coffee, tea, soda, and food colouring. Pigment works its way into tiny cracks in your enamel, creating an overall yellow look to your teeth. This pigment is also notoriously difficult to remove: typical dental tools often have no effect and the teeth must be treated chemically.
Sweet drinks without straws
From a dental perspective, straws are a wonderful invention. Most people keep the straw end back in their mouths, limiting their teeth’s exposure to sugar, acid, and pigment.