Who Says You Can’t Wear White After Labor Day?
As our grandmothers will tell us, the color white goes out of style as soon as we pass that first Monday in September. Even though we have to put away our white jeans, our teeth can wear white all year round! That pearly smile is a great addition to any look, and certainly makes even the chilliest fall mornings feel a little brighter. But sometimes you might notice your teeth are looking a little dull. Curious as to what the culprit is? Take a look at these 5 things that take the whiteness away from your smile.
With all the colors and chemicals that come in a can of soda, it’s easy to see why it may not be so great for a white smile. The acidic chemicals, called phosphoric acids, eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Once this protective layer is gone, it’s easy for other coloring agents to latch on. Even if you don’t drink darker sodas like colas and root beers, your enamel can still disappear and leave your teeth susceptible to damage.
This should come as no surprise. The two main ingredients in tobacco products happen to be two of the worst things for your teeth: nicotine and tar. By itself nicotine may not take away the whiteness of teeth, but as soon as it interacts with oxygen it turns a nasty yellow color that users dread seeing in their smiles. Tar doesn’t help the problem, either. Tar sticks onto your teeth and creates a healthy environment for bacteria and plaque buildup-something that is UNhealthy for your smile.
3. Tea & coffee
We all need our caffeine fix, and most times we get it from having a cup of coffee or black tea. Amidst our energetic rejuvenation we fail to recognize the effects these drinks have on our teeth until it’s too late. Just one cup of coffee or tea exposes our teeth to high levels of acid that, like soda, eats away the enamel that protects teeth from decay. Without this enamel, our teeth become discolored and experience a higher risk of cavity formation. It might be in our best interest to find an alternative way to get reenergized-like getting a good night’s sleep!
4. Other acidic foods & drinks
One of the first things we reach for after we put the kids to bed may not be the first thing we want to wash over our teeth. Though it has proven benefits for our hearts, red wine isn’t quite as nice to our teeth. Like we’ve already seen with soda, coffee & tea, the acid in wine removes the protective layer from teeth and exposes them to the red color that comes from the grapes. White wine might not carry the darker color that red wine does, it doesn’t make it any safer for our enamel. In fact, most white wines have MORE acid than red wines! Fruits, vinegars, and other acid-filled foods don’t do us any favors, either. The best thing you can do to maintain the whiteness of your smile after consuming extra acid is to rinse your mouth out to prevent anything from settling on your teeth.
5. Not drinking enough water
Water serves quite a few purposes for us, but two of the most important are to keep us hydrated and to keep our teeth clean. When we drink water it washes away large pieces of food that might be stuck on our teeth. It also neutralizes any acidic particles that might be sitting on our gums or in between teeth that could increase our risk of decay. Most health professionals recommend drinking 64 ounces of water a day, which amounts to about 8 glasses of water.
If you experience any unwanted stains on your teeth, ask your dentist about the different options for stain removal and whitening. Dr. Carter and her staff specialize in teeth whitening and smile brightening-they’d be happy to include a consultation for this treatment next time you’re in the office!