Want whiter teeth? Stay away from these 4 things

Want whiter teeth? Stay away from these 4 things

Ever wish your smile shined a little brighter? You’re not alone.

“Many individuals believe a brighter and whiter smile can improve their attractiveness and self-esteem, which is why it is the most frequently requested service at many dental practices,” says Dr. James Benz, Chair of the Department of Dentistry at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.

So what steps can we take to maintain those bright pearly whites?

Certain types of food and drinks we consume can stain our teeth or break down the enamel on our teeth, eventually exposing a yellow-toned tissue called dentin.

To prevent this from happening, Dr. Benz suggests dialing back how often you eat or drink the following items:

  • Tannins: The biggest culprits that pack tannins include coffee, tea and wine. This includes lighter-colored beverages like white wine and white teas.
  • Acidic foods: Foods or beverages that are highly acidic, like lemons, can break down enamel.
  • Sugar: Sugar-laden foods, including soda and candy, can cause severe damage to your teeth.
  • Smoking: Whether it’s a cigarette or chewing tobacco, smoking products contain chemicals like tar that stain teeth.

In addition to this, Dr. Benz adds you can purchase over-the-counter whitening trays or sip beverages through a straw to help keep your teeth shining white or talk to your dental professional to discuss other whitening options.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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  1. This are didn’t tell me anything, I do drink white wine occasionally/socially, and I do drink two to three cups of Indian tea on a daily basis.

  2. Characterizing beverages as a unique cause of oral health issues is overly simplistic. Oral health is determined by a variety of factors, including types of foods consumed, the length of time foods are retained in the mouth and the level of oral hygiene. There are steps people can take to prevent and mitigate oral health issues, such as maintaining good oral hygiene habits and making routine dental visits.

    Additionally, beverages can be a part of a balanced diet – there are more beverage choices than ever, including choices with little to no sugar or in smaller portions.

  3. I drink coffee whenever I can, and that’s pretty often. Now, I’m having troubles because my teeth ended up being discolored. It was great that you elaborated the different types of teeth whitening and help determine which is right for me.

  4. I’ve been told that NOTHING will whiten bonded teeth. I wish I knew that before the bonding was done.

  5. My teeth are a mix of crowns, implants and gold fillings. My natural teeth are stained while the others are the same color as the day they were put in. I don’t smile very much due to the various colors of my teeth.

  6. Peter J Blank, DDS July 5, 2022 at 12:59 am · Reply

    Thank you for this informative article. I wish I knew this before. I think I need to lessen sugar-laden foods. Do you have other tips to have my teeth whitened?

  7. Interesting read! I agree that coffee, teas, and smoking cigarettes are one of the great causes of stains in our teeth. Would dental implants get stained as well, or are they stain-resistant?

  8. One suggestion that may to not discolor teeth is to drink coffee, tea, wine with a straw. I try to do this when I can remember. Coffee taste better without the straw

  9. I stopped reading after coffee was mentioned.

About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is regional manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.