Ever had your child crack a smile, revealing that their pearly whites are a bright shade of blue? Or walked over to speak with a coworker only to realize their teeth are severely coffee stained? The drinks we consume every day like sports drinks, coffee, and sodas are often highly acidic or have artificial ingredients including food coloring and dyes. Not only do these ingredients make drinks blue, red, and yellow, but they also stain our teeth.
Studies show that most drinks that are consumed daily by children in the United States, such as sweetened and artificially sweetened carbonated beverages, fruit drinks and punches, sports drinks, and energy drinks are dyed with either caramel color or artificial food coloring in widely varying amounts.
Fructose corn syrup and excess sugar aren’t our only concerns these days. Sports drinks, sodas, and other added-sugar drinks are very bad for our oral and overall health, often leading to cavities and poor nutritional habits. Providing natural foods and beverages without added dyes should be a priority for maintaining a healthy smile.
In addition to potentially being loaded with sugar, sports drinks, coffee drinks, and other beverages can stain our teeth. If you do choose to drink a beverage that has coffee, dyes, or ingredients that stain enamel, here’s the best way to clean your teeth and preserve your enamel.
Rinse with water while drinking and afterwards. Often, drinks that stain our teeth are also acidic, and those can wear down on the enamel of our teeth, leaving behind stains on our teeth. Water is the opposite of acidic, and it cleanses our mouth. That’s why rinsing with water afterwards can clean the surface of your teeth without compromising your enamel.
To remove stains from enamel, get yourself one of these American Dental Association certified toothpastes and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may find an electric toothbrush works better than a manual toothbrush with less elbow grease required.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums.
- Move the brush in a gentle scrubbing motion, using short circular and back-and-forth strokes. Pay attention to gently cleaning just under the gum line.
- Brush the inner and outer tooth surfaces and make sure you get all surfaces, between the teeth and just under the gums.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Brush at least twice a day, when you get up in the morning, preferably after breakfast; and before going to sleep for the night, after you have finished all eating and drinking for the day.
- Rinse with water after consuming acidic beverages, waiting 30 minutes before brushing.
- Rinse your toothbrush with water and store upright after use.
- Spend enough time brushing. It usually takes about a full two minutes to get all tooth surfaces really clean.
If you’re looking for more whitening power than brushing provides, talk with your dentist. Ensure your gums and mouth are healthy enough before using whitening products. Need a dentist in your area? Click here.
Looking for more on tooth enamel? Click here.