Discoloration Discussion: Keep Teeth White By Avoiding These Four Things

Often, when we have a patient in the chair at Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee, we’ll spend the majority of our post-cleaning discussion educating patients on steps they can take to keep those beautiful smiles healthy and clean – such as proper brushing techniques, the importance of flossing regularly, and what to look for in a great toothpaste. Today, instead of addressing what you SHOULD do, we will pivot the discussion to four things you should avoid if you hope to prevent the discoloration of your pearly whites. Teeth discoloration is nothing to be ashamed of, and it can be easily avoided by kicking the following habits…

Top Four Beverage “Bad Guys”: Tea, Coffee, Red Wine, and Cola

One of the number one reasons we begin to see discoloration of teeth in our patients’ mouths is due to regular consumption of sweet tea, a morning cup of Joe, a nice glass of pinot noir in the evening, or a caffeine-laden soda for a pick-me-up in the afternoon. While we often recommend that our patients brush after meals, we’ve found that it’s particularly essential if you’ve enjoyed any one of these four beverage “bad guys.” Too hard to quit cold turkey altogether? Try sipping cold tea and soda through a straw and then brushing – or at least rinsing with water - afterward. NOT-SO-FUN FACT: Did you know red wine isn’t the only culprit in a bottle? White wine can also cause discoloration because its acids break down the enamel over time, making your teeth more susceptible to staining.  

Smoking is Bad for More Reasons Than One

While we all know tobacco has been linked to cancer and can dramatically increase your likelihood of having a stroke, did you realize that it’s also listed among the top teeth discoloration causes? This is because the nicotine and tar in tobacco will permeate your enamel and yellow your teeth over time. Not to mention, the chemicals and heavy metals found in cigarette smoke reduce your enamel’s ability to resist erosion from acidic foods and beverages. So one of the best measures you can take – for the appearance of your smile and overall well-being – is to quit smoking altogether.  

The Hard Truth About Some Medications

Another leading cause of the discoloration of teeth is select medications. Antihistamines, ACE inhibitors, some antibiotics, beta-blockers, and antiseptic mouth rinses are the most common culprits of medication-related tooth discoloration. While some of these medications impact your overall health in far more important ways than a nice white smile – particularly those that regulate blood pressure and heart rate – there is a great way to have the best of both worlds. To stave off the discoloration of your teeth, scheduling the occasional professional in-office whitening treatment at Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee is a far better avenue than quitting any potentially life-saving medications.

The Best Offense is a Good Defense

Of course, one of the top reasons beautiful white teeth lose their luster is a lack of proper oral hygiene. Simply following your dentist’s suggestion to brush and floss regularly will go a long way in removing the buildup of plaque and tartar that will discolor your teeth over time. While we’d love for you to brush after every meal, it’s crucial that you brush at least twice a day – most commonly in the morning while you’re getting ready for your day and at night when you’re getting ready for bed.  

The four common culprits of tooth discoloration listed above aren’t alone. Berries, tomato-based sauces, soy sauce, fruit juices, and dark vegetables like spinach can also stain your teeth. At the same time, some foods can help keep your smile bright, such as apples, nuts, pears, and raw vegetables – like carrots. They all have one thing in common – that CRUNCH – that can have a similar effect to “brushing” by breaking particles on and in between your teeth loose.  

If you believe you could benefit from a brighter, whiter smile, teeth whitening at Gentry Dentistry of Suwanee is both affordable and effective. To learn more about our at-home and in-office teeth whitening options and other cosmetic dentistry services available at Gentry Dentistry, call our friendly front desk team members at 770-945-5850, send us an email outlining your questions to office@gentrydentist.com, or fill out our online contact form.

Leave your worries at the door and enjoy a healthier smile


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