Yahoo! News provided a list of 15 foods and beverages that can stain teeth, including berries, coffee, tea, red wine, curry, hard candies, tomato sauce, cherry juice, soda, balsamic vinegar, beets, popsicles, sports drinks, grapes, and lemons. According to the article, coffee, tea, and red wine, for example, contain tannins that can contribute to staining and discoloration, and many of the items on the list are also acidic, which can erode the enamel on teeth. “You really want to minimize your teeth’s exposure to acidic foods. The acid will eat away at your teeth,” said Dr. Kim Harms, spokesperson for the American Dental Association. “Make sure you’re brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using fluoride,” Dr. Harms said. “Fluoride strengthens your teeth against those acid attacks caused by eating.”
MouthHealthy.orgprovides additional information on what causes teeth to change color.
The Sierra Vista (AZ) Herald (3/8, Neff) reports that millions of Americans are purchasing do-it-yourself whitening products, which topped $1.4 billion in sales last year, adding that toothpastes and chemical application are among the most popular over-the-counter whitening products. The article states that the misuse of whitening products can result in painful, even long term dental issues, however, adding that an Arizona dentist stresses that anyone considering whitening treatments should first see a dentist to evaluate if whitening will aggravate existing dental conditions, if the process will be painful, and if the teeth are suitable for whitening. The article notes this advice follows the ADA recommendation that patients consult with a dentist before using a bleaching product, particularly for patients with fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains.
MouthHealthy.org provides tips on achieving a whiter smile. In addition, several whitening toothpastes and a whitening product have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.