Watch Out for These White Smile Sabotagers
If you’re wishing for a whiter, brighter smile, you’re not alone. Some of the most common questions we hear from patients are related to teeth whitening. Luckily, we offer a range of helpful options to address different needs and goals.
Even healthy teeth can show signs of staining or yellowing over time, so it’s important to understand the habits that lead to a duller smile. Keeping your teeth white could be as simple as one small change to your daily routine.
Whether you want to keep your pearly white smile looking fresh or you’re wondering why your teeth have lost their luster, watch out for these white smile sabotagers.
You’ve probably seen someone suffering from the infamous “red wine smile” (or experienced it yourself!) Red wine is notorious for leaving behind a red-ish film on the teeth. The strongly colored molecules in red wine, called chromogens, can cling to the enamel of a tooth and stain it. Wine is also highly acidic. Over time, the acid in wine can weaken the structure of the tooth and cause damage to the enamel, which can lessen its whiteness.
To avoid the negative tooth-coloring effects of wine, consider brushing your teeth prior to enjoying a glass of your favorite blend. This will reduce the particles of food and “biofilm” on the teeth that cause the red wine color to stick to your teeth. You might also consider rinsing your mouth with water after drinking wine and opting for an iced wine-based drink with a straw instead.
Like red wine, coffee also contains chromogens, or color pigments, that can change the color of the teeth. Brownish or yellowish stains can form on the teeth as a result of regular coffee drinking. Coffee also has a high level of acidity, which can break down the enamel of the teeth over time and contribute to a less brilliant smile.
If you can’t resist enjoying a cup of your favorite coffee blend, try these tips to reduce staining. Opt for an iced coffee and drink through a straw to minimize your tooth exposure to the coffee. It’s also a good idea to rinse the coffee off your teeth by swishing with a glass of water between sips and after you’ve finished your morning brew. Regular teeth cleanings can also help remove surface-level stains and prevent more permanent staining.
Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause numerous health problems and unwanted effects, including discoloration of the teeth. Tobacco products contain a few key ingredients that together can darken your tooth enamel. The tar in tobacco products can leave behind a blackish-brown residue. Additionally, nicotine is colorless, but once it mixes with oxygen in the air, it turns yellow and can make your teeth yellow as well.
We recommend avoiding the use of tobacco products. Not only can tobacco negatively impact your smile, it can also result in other serious health conditions. If you do choose to use tobacco, be sure to stay up-to-date with regular dental cleanings to minimize staining and maintain a healthy smile.
While most medications do not have an effect on the color of your teeth, some prescriptions can create a yellowing or dulling effect on your smile. Some antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotics do have teeth discoloration side effects. Chemo and radiation in the head or neck area can also affect the color and health of your teeth. Research also demonstrates that certain antibiotics can discolor the developing teeth of young children or babies in utero.
It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor if your medications will have any implications on your oral health. Depending on your unique health situation, there might be an alternative treatment option available or a regimen to follow to lessen the effects of the medication on your teeth. If you’re seeking to restore your bright white smile, our dentists and staff can help you identify the best whitening options for you.
Maintaining white, bright teeth requires more than regular brushing and flossing. Often, other factors, like what you eat and drink, can affect the appearance of your teeth. Watch out for common white smile sabotagers like wine, coffee, tobacco, and medications. With proper care and good habits, you can reduce the impact of these everyday factors on your bright, beautiful smile.
We love a smile transformation. If you’re interested in learning more about the teeth whitening we offer at Norge Dental Center, let us know. We have helped many patients improve the brilliance of their smiles through a range of custom treatment options. Schedule an appointment by calling our office or visiting our website.