Watch what color food you eat.. But keep smiling!

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In today's society, everyone wants pearly whites. Whether you achieve having white teeth by using white strips or getting them professionally whitened, the goal is still the same. Even if you don't do those things, I am sure you want to have white teeth. As I was exploring the Internet, I found an interesting topic idea: What food stains your teeth. Personally, I never thought about what types of food could stain your teeth and why they do.

Besides brushing your teeth and flossing, watching what you eat is just as important. According to Matthew J. Messina, DDS, "If you're worried about spilling [the food or beverage] on your white tablecloth, you can be sure it's got the potential to stain teeth." 

Reading that made me think about all the food I have eaten today that would have stained a white tablecloth... It is a scary thought.

The reason why the staining happens is do to the color and acidity of the food and drinks we consume. The staining from the colors come from pigmented molecules called chromogens. The definition of a chromogen is  "a colored compound that, though not a dye itself, can be converted into a dye" according to the dictionary. The chromogens in what you eat stick to your teeth's enamel very easily, which lead to the staining. Now let's talk about acidic foods and why they will stain your teeth. The acid in the foods, especially drinks, will erode the enamel on your teeth. With the enamel on your teeth fading, the more vulnerable your teeth are to many things including staining.

Now that we know why the staining occurs, let's look at the foods that can cause staining. The number one thing that stains teeth (and it breaks my heart to hear) is coffee according to this list and along with many other lists. Coffee is filled with acid and has a very dark color to it- two of the things that cause staining. Coffee, although it might give you a morning boost, will give you stains on your teeth. A surprising find was tomato sauce and ketchup causing teeth stains. Ketchup and sauce are definitely two items that would stain a white tablecloth, therefore will stain your teeth. There is a high level of acidity in tomatoes and tomato sauce and ketchup have a very bright color to them, which would lead to the staining. Other items include teas, red wine, soda, fruit juices, candy, popsicles, soy sauce, and curry. 

We now know that the reason why our teeth might be looking a little discolored is from what we are consuming. Now, we cannot rule out other causes of this because there could be a plethora of other factors in teeth staining. Don't go running to cut all acidy and brightly colored foods out of your life. But, be sure to clean your teeth on a regular basis, floss, visit the dentist, and try not to over consume on acidy and bright colored food. Start to think of ways to build up your tooth's enamel and to neutralize acids in your mouth. An important tip is to listen to your parent and eat your fruits and vegetables!!! They will scrub your teeth clean and help produce saliva. The saliva will then help even out the acidity from eating the not so good food for your teeth.

How are you going to save your pearly white smile?


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1 Comment

Teeth is probably the most important thing to me. I was extremely fortunate to receive the gene of having straight and pretty nice teeth, never needed braces... However, MY TEETH STAIN SO EASILY! I definitely notice my teeth becoming significantly yellower after even one sip of tea and coffee, but I didn't even think about ketchup and tomatoes having the possibility to stain them! I'm pretty sure all of my favorite foods can stain or ruin my teeth, like lemons. I could eat lemons all day, everyday, but I feel it removing the enamel off of my teeth. I also have an obsession with tea, so that is not a good thing to help me achieve the goal of having pearly whites. That is very interesting that fruits and vegetables can actually "scrub' your teeth cleaner though, I never would have known that! Better get to the store and get some delicious broccoli! My dentist actually said it is healthy and normal to use a whitening item/ assistant weekly to make your smile shiny and beautiful. This website gives you really great tips on how to maintain and achieve a white smile:

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