We all want a bright, white, dazzling smile. From soaring confidence to a more youthful appearance, a great smile can do wonders for our image. However, achieving and maintaining a sparkling grin isn’t always easy. Take the foods we eat, for example. Certain foods and beverages can stain and discolor the teeth, as well as cause cavities and lead to poor dental health, in general.
If you’re interested in keeping your teeth healthy and white, keep reading for a list of foods and beverages to avoid.
There’s nothing like a great cup of coffee. Whether you like hot or iced, black or creamy, coffee perks us up and keeps us going, all day long. But when it comes to your smile, that morning (or afternoon) cup of joe comes at a price. When you drink coffee, the porous outer layer of your teeth absorbs the java’s dark color, leaving you with a less-than-stellar smile. Thankfully, though, you don’t have to give up caffeine, altogether. Avoid discoloration by sipping your coffee through a straw, or switch to healthier alternatives like green tea or maca.
Red wine is known for its bold flavor and its various benefits to health and wellness. However, like coffee, the rich color of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet and other red wines can be absorbed by your pearly whites, leaving them stained and unsightly. White or blush wines will give you your wine fix without the staining, but if you simply can’t give up your reds, cut discoloration by swishing with water between glasses.
Cola, root beer and other dark sodas can do a number on your smile. In addition to the staining effects of dark beverages, soda’s acidity can wear down the enamel on your teeth, which, once lost, is gone forever. Plus, sodas with high sugar content can cause cavities and tooth decay. Since we all know soda can increase the risks of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other complications, it’s time to ditch this bad habit, pronto, and repair the damage with professional teeth whitening treatments.
Dark Fruit Juice
Grape, cherry and cranberry juices may be packed with vitamins and antioxidants, but the acids and concentrated colors can yellow the teeth and dull the smile. Sip through a straw, opt for lighter fruit juices like apple or white grape, or simply trade in your beloved juices for fresh, whole fruit. With fresh fruit, you get all the advantages of juice, without the sugar, acids and discoloration.
If you’ve ever spilled soy sauce on your clothes or carpeting, you know it can leave tricky, difficult-to-treat stains. Unfortunately, soy sauce, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar and other dark sauces do the same to our teeth. Avoid staining by using darker sauces sparingly, or cut them out, altogether. And since many sauces are high in calories, sugar, sodium and other unhealthy ingredients, cutting back will provide more benefits than whiter teeth.
Sorry, ladies, but chocolate can have quite the impact on dental health. From staining and discoloration to cavities and tooth decay, this sweet treat can leave you with a less-than-desirable smile, and can even affect physical health. Avoid these effects by foregoing chocolate for tasty snacks like fresh fruit or nuts; and, for those days when you just can’t say no, be sure to rinse or brush thoroughly after eating chocolate.
A brighter, whiter smile isn’t impossible to achieve or maintain. With the tips provided here, you can keep your whites pearly, and enjoy all the benefits of a dazzling smile!