If you are a cola, coffee, tea or red-wine drinker, you may experience discolored teeth. Actually, any food or drink capable of staining clothes or carpets - including fruit juices, blueberries, soy sauce and curry - can also stain teeth - While the best way to get rid of persistent stains is with professional teeth cleaning, you can help prevent stains - new or recurring - with the following:
- Rinse your mouth with plain water after you drink or eat staining foods and beverages.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a whitening toothpaste; many natural-ingredient-based toothpaste lines such as Tom's of Maine now have whitening varieties.
- Floss daily (stains around the edges of your teeth can occur when plaque accumulates at the gum line and absorbs color from food and drink).
- Sip temperate fluids through a straw, which minimizes contact with teeth.
Be cautious about over the counter teeth whitening kits, and talk with your dentist about professional options. You should be aware that any method of tooth bleaching may, over time, break down the integrity of the teeth. That can leave them more susceptible to future stains. Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect of teeth whitening but usually decreases over time.
Both red wine and green tea hold an important place in my Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid, so don't let the fear of stained teeth deter you from including them in your diet.