One of the most common goals of consistent and thorough dental care is achieving a bright, attractive smile. There are dozens of foods and behaviors that can damage and stain your teeth to varying degrees of severity. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, here are some of the most important substances to avoid if you want to protect your smile.
- Tobacco Products
One of the most well known activities that stain your teeth is smoking. Tobacco and nicotine products not only give teeth yellow and brown stains, they also put your entire mouth at risk for disease. Cigarette stains cause tartar and plaque to build up on your teeth. Tartar is a sticky film that creates a breeding ground for other oral bacteria to multiply. Smoking is just one of the ways that tobacco can infiltrate and damage your mouth. Chewing products can also damage your teeth, tongue, and gums. Oral cancer is one of the long term effects of exposure to these substances, and can be permanently disfiguring or even fatal.
- Coffee, Tea, and Wine
Other common staining agents can be found in coffee, tea, and wine. Coffee is an incredibly popular morning drink, with many people having more than one cup every day. Tea contains tannins that can do more damage than even coffee or soda. Dental enamel is especially vulnerable to the dark pigment of these substances, and tannins in wine and tea wear down the surface of your teeth and latch onto vulnerable enamel.
- Acidity Levels
A critical factor in many harmful drinks is their level of acidity. Soda is so acidic that it can melt corrosion off a car battery after exposure! Just think of the havoc that this could wreak on your mouth. Likewise, citrus like lemons and limes have high acidity levels that can weaken the surface of your teeth and make them change color.
If you want to protect your oral health and your smile, steer clear of excessive indulgence when it comes to any of these high-risk substances. Maintaining hygienic behavior and visiting your dentist on a regular basis will keep your smile clean and healthy.