The holiday season is upon us once again! And with the holidays, there comes an increase in the consumption of sweet treats and seasonal drinks. Most of us probably know about the damage that sweets can do to our teeth, but did you know that certain holiday drinks can cause your teeth to become discolored from surface stains? Continue reading to learn more about four-holiday drinks that can stain your teeth and how to help prevent it from happening.
Nothing feels better than starting the morning with the taste of delicious, hot coffee — and yes, that applies any time of the year! While coffee does encompass benefits, there are also potential downsides from enjoying your favorite cup of joe. For instance, coffee is the most common culprit of teeth staining.
The enamel of your teeth is covered with tiny gaps. Particular food and drink residue can stick in those gaps and allow the formation of extrinsic stains and bacteria buildup. Pigments from dark-colored drinks, like coffee, can become embedded in those ridges and can cause permanent discolored stains on your teeth. Without removing the stain, the outer, discolored layer of your tooth begins to affect the other layers, and the staining gets harder to clean off. If you would like to learn more about coffee stains, check out our blog, Coffee Drinkers: How to Take Preventive Measures When Drinking Coffee.
Hot chocolate is a holiday favorite among all ages, but this winter staple contains chromogens, which are pigment-producing substances that can cling to tooth enamel and cause staining. Furthermore, hot chocolate is packed full of sugar from cocoa and marshmallows. The sugar found in hot chocolate can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Wine is a popular beverage to pair with a holiday meal, but wine can contribute to teeth staining over time. Red wine contains acid and tannins. Tannins are not exclusively found in wine, but they are the main component of wine’s structure, which is how a wine behaves in your mouth and the glass (i.e. swirls and stains). White wine contains even more acid than red wine, causing enamel erosion and leading to discoloration and staining.
If your favorite holiday punch recipe contains juices from highly-pigmented berries like cherries, pomegranates, blackberries or blueberries, be aware that these berries (and their juices) contain chromogens. As we previously mentioned, chromogens can lead to teeth staining. Some holiday punch recipes also incorporate sugary beverages, like flavored soda, leading to tooth decay and cavities.
PREVENT TEETH STAINING
Check out these tips to help keep your smile gleaming white through the holiday season and beyond:
- Use a straw to drink beverages that may stain your teeth
- Stick to an oral care routine
- Brush twice a day and floss once per day
- Consider incorporating a whitening toothpaste
- Drink a sip of water between beverages that may stain your teeth
- Brush your teeth after drinking staining beverages
- Wait approximately 30 minutes after drinking acidic beverages, so you won’t spread the acid around your teeth
- Visit your dentist for regular cleanings
TEETH WHITENING | THE LANDING DENTAL SPA
Even with the best preventive efforts, your teeth still can become discolored over time. If you are having problems with teeth staining after incorporating the above tips, you may want to consider teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is the process of lifting the color from your teeth.
At The Landing Dental Spa, we offer teeth whitening to help enhance the brightness of your natural teeth. Before your procedure, your dentist will take pictures of your teeth so that they can monitor their progress. They will also clean your teeth to remove bacteria, food or other substances. Then, your dentist will start the whitening treatment. With teeth whitening, there are two types of procedures: vital and non-vital.
- Vital whitening is the most common type of whitening. For an in-office procedure, your dentist will have the ability to use stronger whitening gel and a specialized light that allows the bleaching to happen quicker. This procedure is a 30 to 90-minute procedure, and it is recommended that you make one to three appointments.
- Non-vital whitening is a procedure that is done on a dead tooth that has had a root canal. It is used to treat intrinsic staining on teeth.
There are typically no severe side effects; however, you may feel sensitivity in your teeth or have mild gum irritation after your teeth whitening procedure. Teeth whitening is not permanent, and it is recommended that you schedule follow-up appointments. If you are pregnant, you should avoid having your teeth whitened.
If you have any questions about teeth staining or teeth whitening, or if you would like to schedule a dental appointment with us, please give us a call at 304-594-2200 or contact us online. We look forward to seeing you soon!