Eat a Rainbow that Doesn’t Stain your Teeth
Eating a variety of foods is important for your overall health but it is possible to minimize staining to your teeth at the same time!
Have you heard about the concept of ‘eating a rainbow’? If you have kids, they’ve heard of it at school. Basically, it’s a theory of eating that suggests that, in the best case scenario, we need to eat a rainbow of colours with every meal. Vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins that cover a range of colours: yellow peppers with red apples with green cucumbers and yogurt… You get the picture.
The problem with some very colourful foods is that, in a large or ongoing quantity, they can stain your teeth. A good example that most of us have heard of is blueberries. High in antioxidants? Yes. High in dark colouring, also known as chromogens (compounds with strong pigments that can stain enamel)? Yes. And that goes for blackberries, cranberries, pomegranates, cherries and raspberries too, whether you eat them whole, drink them as a juice or consume them as a jam!
Foods you might be surprised to find out that discolour your teeth
Pasta sauce — yes, the ubiquitous sauce, a staple in many diets, is a culprit in staining your teeth. The acids in the tomato sauce, to say nothing of the colour, cling to your teeth and can cause staining.
Tip? Eat green veggies like broccoli or a salad before your pasta. Not only will this light appetizer cut your carb load desires, it will create a film on your teeth that helps to protect it from the acids and colours in tomatoes.
Curry spice — an important spice in so many world cuisines AND one that is deeply imbued with yellow pigment, which can discolour teeth. Turmeric is another culprit in this department.
Food colouring — having a green beer this St. Patrick’s Day? Just remember that food colouring can stain teeth. Other culprits? Candy, ice pops, jell-o and cake icing.
Tip? Avoid these as much as possible by consuming a ‘natural’ rainbow!
Balsamic vinegar ― not only does this vinegar have a dark colour, which can stain, but it has a thick texture which tends to cling to the surface of teeth. Other similar culprits? Soy sauce.
Tip? By all means, include it in your salad dressing but make sure that your salad also contains some crunchy vegetables or fruit that will have a cleaning effect. Just avoid beets! They have the strongest colour staining power of all the vegetables.
Be careful what you drink too!
Here’s a list of some of the beverages that cause staining – and not always because of colour but because of the quantity of sugars and acids they contain, which can damage enamel and make your teeth more prone to stains:
- Sports drinks
- White wine
- Red wine
- Berry juices
If you can’t brush after eating ‘staining’ foods, be sure to rinse your mouth out with plain water. This will help remove some of the staining ingredients before they can settle on your teeth.
As always, keep your pearly whites pearly by seeing your dentist regularly for a cleaning and talk to us about brightening your smile by arranging a teeth whitening visit at either of our two offices right away!