How to Keep Your Teeth White Through the Holidays
By Mina Levi DDS, 12/24/2013
A concern of many is to keep their teeth pearly white, but not many people have the time to follow through with whitening treatments during the busy holiday season. This leaves people with questions like, what foods are going to stain my teeth? and are there foods that help keep stains away? Below, we discuss tips on how to keep teeth at their whitest through the holidays.
What foods should I avoid?
There are many foods and drinks that are served during the holidays that can actually stain teeth and dull them. A few foods and drinks to avoid are:
1. Coffee. Coffee is a dark liquid that is very powerful, and can leave stained teeth after having only a few sips. If coffee is unavoidable, try to swish water or mouth rinse immediately after drinking it to best avoid staining.
2. Red Wine. Red wine, or any other colored fruit drink for that matter, is a staining agent as well. If you are worried about stains when you spill it on your shirt, you should be worried about what it is doing to your teeth. Try white wine as a replacement.
3. Cranberry Sauce. As a darker fruit product, cranberry sauce will stain like red wine does. Avoid cranberry sauce if you can.
4. Dark Chocolate. Chocolate is less powerful than coffee or red wine, but still has the capability of staining teeth. Swish water in your mouth after eating dark chocolate treats, or try to substitute white chocolate instead.
5. Tomato Sauce. Tomato sauce can stain your teeth due to the deep red color and also due to the acidity in the tomatoes. If you eat basic foods like lettuce beforehand, it may form a thin protective layer on teeth. Overall, though, try to avoid tomato sauce if possible.
Are there foods that help with whitening?
Just as there are foods that make teeth duller, there are foods that can help keep your teeth white while you eat them! A few foods and drinks to indulge in during the holidays are:
1. Vegetables High in Fiber. Veggies that have high fiber content like broccoli or spinach can clean your teeth while you eat. They also increase saliva production and lower acidity in the mouth.
2. Water. Water is good for you for unlimited numbers of reasons, and it is also good for keeping your teeth white, especially if it has added fluoride elements that fight oral bacteria.
3. Nuts. Nuts are abrasive when you bite into them, which help clean plaque off of teeth. Nuts also increase saliva production much like fibrous veggies which lowers acidity and fights bacteria in the mouth.
4. Strawberries and Pineapple. Strawberries and pineapple act like astringents that reverse staining and have vitamin C. Strawberries are good to eat with dark chocolate to help keep stains caused by the chocolate at bay.
If you have any concerns about teeth whitening, or professional teeth whitening procedures, give the Dentist San Francisco Mina Levi DDS a call at (415) 513-5066 or visit us on the web at www.minalevidds.com . Have a happy holiday season!
Topics: Holidays, Teeth Whitening, Stains, Staining Foods, Oral Bacteria, Saliva, Plaque, Dentist San Francisco