Sticky, dark or brightly colored, and acidic foods and beverages can be harmful to your teeth, causing increased sensitivity, damage to tooth enamel, and tooth staining.
1. Coffee and Tea
While coffee and tea are essential to some people, they can also be very damaging to our teeth. The sugar, cream, and other additives in beverages make them harsh on our enamel. For frequent coffee and tea drinkers, it is important to drink plenty of water along with these beverages and try to stay away from additives.
2. Sticky, Sugary Foods
Sticky foods like candy and dried fruit can stick to and damage your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay can occur from plaque encountering the sugar on your teeth, resulting in damage to your enamel. The colored dyes in candy are also culprits for darkening your pearly whites. For healthy teeth, minimize your sugar intake. When you do splurge on these sugary treats, be sure to drink water and brush your teeth promptly afterwards.
3. Red and White Wine
Although white wine does not have the color to stain your teeth, it is even more acidic than red wine. The acidity in both red and white wine can damage your teeth and cause discoloration.
4. Dark Fruits
While berries offer healthy antioxidants, the dark pigment in blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries can cause staining. To minimize staining, wash these berries down with plenty of water.
5. Acidic Fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges are acidic in nature and can erode your enamel and expose your dentin, resulting in yellowing. Not only does this cause staining, but it can also increase tooth sensitivity.
In general, it is best to avoid the foods and beverages that damage and stain your teeth. However if you do consume them follow these general tips:
Drink plenty of water all throughout the day.
If you choose to splurge and eat sticky candy or consume too much of an acidic beverage, make sure to brush and floss thoroughly. Don’t let those foods sit on your teeth too long.
Brushing twice a day will help you maintain a whiter, brighter smile.
Many of these tooth-staining foods also cause damage to your enamel. If you notice increased sensitivity or yellowing in your teeth, ask your hygienist if a fluoride treatment is right for you.