With the festive season upon us, we all want to look our best and have a pearly white smile. However, there are drinks we consume daily, and those that are bound to be at any festive gathering, that can stain and yellow your teeth. To make sure your smile sparkles into the New Year, here are a few drinks you should avoid or drink in moderation over this festive season.
Due to its dark color and high acidity, coffee is one of the top beverages for staining teeth. Frequent exposure to coffee can result in it’s dark coloring transferring to the teeth. If you do not rinse your mouth or brush your teeth correctly after consuming coffee, the tannins that make coffee acidic will eat away at your tooth enamel. Worn tooth enamel stains more easily, and the layers underneath the enamel are exposed, which can also look like yellow staining. Either avoid this beverage or drink milk in your coffee to dilute its staining power.
Although less acidic than coffee, teas still contain tannins that can discolor teeth. Different teas also discolor your teeth differently, when consumed in large amounts. Green teas leave a more gray colored stain while black teas leave a yellow stain, similar to coffee. Consider drinking a higher quality tea this festive season to minimize the staining power, as cheaper teas stain your teeth easier than more expensive teas.
Sports and Energy Drinks
If you need a boost in energy during the holidays, you may want to think twice before consuming too many sports or energy drinks. They are full of acids, which erode protective tooth enamel and create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria with its sugar content. Rather get a good night’s sleep and stay hydrated by drinking water for a natural energy boost.
Frequent consumption of all kinds of red wine will create grey stains on your teeth, because wine contains tannins. It is best to brush your teeth soon after a glass of red wine to prevent the color from depositing into your teeth.
Although white wine is light in color and thought to have less staining power than red wine, white wine is more acidic than red wine. The acids break down the protective outer layer of the tooth and exposes its yellowish inner layer, called dentin. If you plan on enjoying some white wine, follow it up with a glass of water to keep acids from sticking to your teeth.
Fruit juices, especially berry or citrus fruit juices, are full of acids and sugars. The acids break down enamel, exposing the vulnerable dentin, and the sugars in the juice offer a breeding ground for bacteria, which can attack the inner part of the tooth and cause cavities. A yellowing effect can come from both a buildup of bacteria, plaque and tartar and the exposed inner layer of teeth.
All carbonated drinks are acidic, because the bubbles of carbonation are actually carbon dioxide, which undergo a chemical reaction in your mouth that turns it into an acid. This acid, like all the previous drinks, weakens tooth enamel and exposes the tooth’s yellow inner layers. Carbonated drinks that contain sugar are worse for your teeth, as the sugar promotes the growth of bacteria.
Remember, to quench your thirst with water is still the best option, but since it is the holidays we understand you may be indulging in other beverages. Just keep in mind to take extra care of your teeth when consuming the above drinks. Enjoy the holidays!