Health

Nine ways you may be dulling your smile

Keep these in check for whiter teeth

We all know the basic rules of keeping our pearly whites, well, white. No smoking or coffee or red wine, and diligent flossing after every meal. But there are other foods in our diet or habits we practise that may leave their mark on our teeth.

Lemonade

The acidity erodes the tooth enamel, revealing the next layer called the dentin, which in itself is yellow. Add sugar to the mix and you have double the staining when it sticks to your teeth.

Green tea

Like coffee, black or brown teas can turn teeth yellow or even grey. But even green tea, which is lower in tannin content, can cause staining. To avoid this, brush your teeth about half an hour after eating or drinking anything that can harm or stain them. Try not to brush within 30 minutes of eating or drinking, particularly anything acidic, because that can erode your teeth further.

Green juices or smoothies

Juices and smoothies are typically loaded with berries and vegetables that tend to stain teeth. Just drink with a straw to avoid getting them on your teeth.

Soya sauce

This is almost a staple condiment for most Asian meals, but it is a teeth-stainer too, thanks to its saturated colouring. Rinse your mouth after having it.

Berries

They also contain a huge amount of colour pigments that can stick to the enamel.Make sure you rinse your mouth after eating them.

White wine

Red wine contains tannin that stains teeth, but white is no better. Wine is acidic, so it erodes the enamel and makes the teeth surface less even, making it easier for pigments to latch on.

When combined with staining sauces (such as spaghetti bolognese), you are practically welcoming in the stains.

Starchy food

It is near impossible to stop at just one potato chip or roasted nut, but these starchy snacks may be the reason for your stained teeth. The bacteria in plaque breaks down starchy foods into acid, which erodes and stains teeth. Be sure to floss after having starchy foods to remove any particles that may be stuck between teeth.

Swimming

You may let the chlorinated water into your mouth, allowing the chemicals to leave a brown stain on your teeth. The longer you stay in the pool (more than six hours a week), the more severe the staining may be.

Injuring your mouth

Any time your teeth suffers from trauma - be it fracturing or chipping - the nerve of your tooth may die, causing your tooth to turn grey and fall out.

If you play contact sports, make sure to wear a mouthguard. If you do injure your mouth and have to take certain medications, they may possibly affect blood circulation to the mouth and teeth, thus changing their colour from within.

This article was first published in Her World Online (HerWorld.com)

WELLNESS & BEAUTY