How to Prevent Stains on Teeth

How to Prevent Stains on Teeth

by Bevon Findley (SU)

Stained, dull teeth can make you look and feel older, and be an all around downer. That’s why restorative dentistry can be used to not only replace missing teeth, but also repair and refresh your smile for a more youthful, vibrant look. But how do you keep your teeth looking their best? How can you prevent tooth staining? First and foremost, you need to practice good dental hygiene for a healthy mouth. Regular checkups allow your dentist to spot trouble before it starts or even to repair damage that may have already occurred.

Next, understand which foods and drinks are a danger to enamel. Red wine, for instance, is a common dental stain culprit. You may be tempted to brush your teeth after drinking a glass, but here is why you shouldn’t. At least not now, anyway. Fermented beverages such as wine have naturally occurring acids that can break down the enamel of your teeth.

These acids can easily cling to the biofilm created by bacteria, commonly referred to as plaque. Instead of brushing afterwards, try brushing before you drink wine or other highly acidic beverages such as coffee. Brushing removes and reduces the biofilm, lessening the chance for staining. The components that cause tooth staining simply have less plaque to cling to, and are therefore less likely to stain.

If you do forget to brush before you drink, rinsing out your mouth with plain water is safer than brushing because it dilutes and removes some of the acids, whereas brushing may redeposit them and weaken your enamel.

Other Ways to Prevent Tooth Stains

  • Drink sparkling water between glasses of wine. This allows the bubbles to loosen staining materials.
  • Have cheese with your wine. Cheese helps to close the micro-pores of your teeth so that they are more resistant to staining. It also contains calcium, which is good for your teeth and bones.
  • Drink with a straw when possible. We don’t recommend this trick for wine, but it does work well with iced tea, coffee, sodas and juices.
  • Avoid all forms of tobacco use. Besides being a serious health hazard in other ways, tobacco contains tars and chemicals that can easily stain your teeth.
  • Make sure to get professional cleanings and whitening from your dentist. Avoid at-home dental whitening, as many can cause severe tooth sensitivity or possibly even damage the roots of your teeth. The last thing you want from a tooth whitening at home treatment is irreversible tooth damage.
  • Know your stain makers: foods like wine, coffee, tea, soda, blueberries, soy sauce, beets and tomato sauce can all cause tooth stains.
  • Brush and floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash to protect your teeth daily.
  • Avoid sugary foods in favor of fruits and leafy greens. The natural fibers of spinach and other vegetables and fruit can help your teeth and your waistline.

If you have any questions about tooth stains, cosmetic dentistry or other dental needs, please give us a call at (541) 689-1645, or Request an appointment online today. Dr. Binder is an experienced, caring dentist with the advanced skills you need to give you the healthy, lovely smile you deserve.