Stains and enamel erosion results from our food and beverage choices. Your dentists in Sewell, NJ, Drs. Christopher J. Connolly, John McCarty and Christopher John Connolly, all recommend limiting or avoiding altogether some popular menu items and replacing them with healthier choices for bright, long-lasting smiles.
What causes stains and erosion?
Stained teeth and erosion happens because your tooth enamel is more porous than you may have realized. Tooth surfaces are really a network of rock-hard fibers in which plaque and staining organic materials accumulate. People remove plaque at home by brushing and flossing, and hygienists remove it, and harder tartar, with manual instruments in the dentist’s office in Sewell, NJ. No biofilm means brighter, shinier, healthier tooth surfaces.
However, even with the best of oral hygiene habits, teeth collect extrinsic stains from:
- Darkly colored foods such as blueberries and soy sauce
- Dark drinks such as coffee, tea and red wine
- Acidic foods such as tomato sauce
Intrinsic, or deeper, discolorations come from tooth injury, root canal therapy, certain prescription medications and cancer therapies.
5 foods that wreak havoc on tooth enamel
Some damaging foods will surprise you. Others will not. The dentists in Sewell, NJ want you to truly limit or eliminate these items from your diet.
- Carbonated beverages such as colas and diet colas. Regular soda pop contains plenty of sugar, the stuff the bacteria in your mouth love to eat. Those oral bacteria, in turn, secrete acids that etch tooth enamel, causing decay. Carbonated drinks contain high amounts of acid, too, that damage teeth. Best beverage choice is plain water. It hydrates the entire body and rinses food particles off your teeth and gums. Also, water activates your salivary glands to wash tooth surfaces and aid in digestion.
- Lemon juice and grapefruit juice. These favorites are rich in Vitamin C which boosts your immune system. However, they contain amazing amounts of citric acid–grapefruit especially. They will erode your teeth just as much as sodas. Choose lower acid orange juice instead, and brush afterwards.
- Hard or sticky candy. Many confections are highly colored and stain teeth. Also, both kinds of candy have a high-sugar content, and some even have citric acid. Both varieties stay in the mouth a long time, allowing destructive oral microorganisms to do their best work.
- It’s not just staining red wine that’s problematic. Any alcoholic beverage, especially consumed to the extreme, dries oral mucosa, leading to gum disease and cavities. Oral cancer studies show direct links between overdoing alcohol and cancerous lesions of the tongue, throat and other soft tissues of the mouth.
- Ice cubes. It’s just frozen water, right? That’s true, but chewing ice cubes is just like chewing rocks, fracturing tooth enamel and dislodging fillings, crowns and porcelain veneers. Stop this habit right away!
Get your regular check-up
The professional staff at Connolly Aesthetic Family Dentistry value patient education. If you have questions about your diet and your oral health, ask when you come in for your 6-month exam and cleaning. Contact the office today to arrange an appointment with your dentist in Sewell, NJ.