Now that you’ve achieved the Beaming White smile you’ve been hoping for (with a Deluxe Home Whitening Kit, of course!), you may be asking yourself: “What steps do I take to keep my teeth looking this bright and healthy?” Brushing and flossing daily is the obvious answer, but have you ever considered the fact that some of the food or beverages that you consume throughout the day might be harming your new smile?
The White Diet
To maintain your bright new smile, it’s very important to pay attention to the foods you’re consuming and their effect on your enamel, especially 24-48 hours after a teeth whitening treatment.
After each teeth whitening treatment, the pores of your enamel are open. This makes them extra vulnerable to stains, often caused by the foods and beverages you consume. Check out our Best Teeth Whitening Tips blog post to read more about what to avoid immediately after a teeth whitening treatment.
Maintaining a Long-Lasting Smile: What To Avoid
After the 24-48 hour period, your enamel is far less vulnerable to stains. However, in order to keep your smile looking bright and healthy for the long haul, it’s important to consider which stain-causing items might be affecting the overall health of your teeth. Provided below is a list of foods and drinks that tend to stain and erode teeth over time:
Orange juice and other citrus fruits and juices contain a valuable amount of vitamin C and other nutrients, making them good for you in many ways. However, citrus fruit is very acidic, particularly grapefruit and lemon juice, and can erode tooth enamel over time. Can’t go without your morning OJ? Don’t fret! There are many varieties of teeth-friendly orange juice out there that are also fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Candy: Chewy & Hard types
Chewy candy can stick to teeth in places that are hard to reach by brushing or flossing. Bacteria feasts on sugar in order to produce acid, which dissolves the protective layer of tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Hard candy doesn’t stick as easily as chewy candy, but it can still cause damage to your teeth in other ways. Hard candy doesn’t usually wash away easily, which causes it to dissolve slowly and saturate your mouth. This gives bacteria more time to produce harmful acid and damage your teeth.
You either love em’ or hate em’. For those of you who love pickles, this news might be a little disappointing. The vinegar used in the pickling process is harmful to tooth enamel and can cause serious erosion over time. According to Health.com, eating pickles more than once a day increases the odds of tooth erosion by about 85%.
Soda & Sports Drinks
After describing the harmful effects of sugary candy, it’s no surprise that the sugar found in soda and sports drinks can also harm the enamel of your teeth. Many people aren’t aware that the carbonation found in soda and some sports drinks can cause even more harm to your teeth than sugar.
If you can’t quit soda, then the best advice is to drink it during a meal. The food will help neutralize acid, which in turn will be far less harmful to your teeth.
Coffee, Tea & Wine
Most know that coffee, tea, and wine can easily stain teeth, just like they would stain a white carpet if spilled. However, other factors cause these beverages to be a enemy to your enamel.
The tannins in wine and some tea dry out the mouth and make your teeth sticky, which worsens the staining effect. Both red and white wines contain erosive acid, allowing stains from other foods or drinks to penetrate more deeply into your dentin, which is the layer underneath your transparent enamel that actually gives your tooth it’s color. For those of you who can’t get enough of your coffee, keep this in mind: studies show that coffee stains appear to be more persistent than tobacco stains!
Who knew that a something so ordinary could cause so much damage? Crackers may seem harmless, but many are actually loaded with refined carbohydrates, which convert to sugar quickly. As you know by now, sugar leads to bacteria, which causes cavities and enamel erosion. Enjoy crackers in moderation, but be sure to brush thoroughly afterwards!
Wrap It Up
We all take care of the things we value in our lives; whether it be a your car, home, stamp collection, neighbor’s toaster, etc. Well… shouldn’t this include your teeth too? Keep your smile healthy and bright by avoiding problematic foods and beverages, and as always, keep your smile beaming white!