During the summer months, you may love to indulge in some of your favorite warm weather foods and drinks. However, a few of them can wreck havoc on your white teeth by staining them. Below are three tips for enjoying your favorites while minimizing the effects on your pearly whites.
Eat Strawberries After Enjoying Your Blueberries
When juicy blueberries come into season, you may love to chomp down on a handful or include them in your smoothies. While the fresh flavor tantalizes your taste buds, the juice soaks into your teeth's enamel where it can permanently stain them. The longer the juice remains on your teeth, the darker they can become.
If you are out on a picnic and do not have access to a toothbrush, eat a few strawberries after enjoying your blueberries. Strawberries contain malic acid that softens and dissolves the staining juices of the blueberries. This helps keep your teeth white as you eat them.
Before biting into a strawberry, rub the outside of it across your teeth. The smooth seeds give the fruit a mild abrasive property, helping to start the whitening process.
Rinse Your Mouth With Salt Water After Eating BBQ Sauce
Nothing says summertime like a barbecue. Just the smell of ribs and other meats doused with BBQ sauce is enough to make your mouth start watering. However, many of those tangy, delicious sauces also contain ingredients that can dull your smile and break down your enamel.
Some BBQ sauces include molasses and brown sugar. When these ingredients are cooked, they melt together for form a crusty concoction that can stick to your teeth and eat into the surface.
Right after you finish eating your tasty morsels covered in BBQ sauce, rinse your mouth with salt water. Table salt helps break down and counteract the effects of the dyes and sugars, lessening their effect on your enamel.
In a small glass, mix together a cup of warm water and a two tablespoons of table salt. Rinse your mouth with half of the salt water solution for about a minute, then spit it out. Rinse with the other half for an additional minute. Then, spit it out and rinse with clear, warm water.
Drink Iced Coffee Or Sweet Tea Through A Straw
Because the weather has warmed up, you may have traded your hot cup of coffee for the iced variety for a more refreshing beverage choice. Although the temperatures are different, both still contain coffee, which has a reputation for seriously staining your teeth when they come into contact with your enamel.
If you are not a coffee drinker but you depend on your cold sweet tea to cool you down, you are not safe from stains either. Tea contains tannins that have the same effect on your teeth as coffee. It also has the added hazard of large amounts of sugar that can break down your enamel, making it even more susceptible to stains.
To help minimize your teeth's exposure to the staining properties of your iced coffee or sweet tea, drink it through a straw. When you do this, the liquid goes quickly through your mouth and down your throat. This keeps the coffee from having direct contact with your front teeth.
For further stain protection, rinse your mouth with water after you finish your drink to remove any excess. Or, use the salt water trick discussed in the previous section to break down any stain producers that are lurking in the crevices of your teeth.
Even with all of your efforts, you may start noticing that your teeth are becoming dull and dark. If so, you may want to contact a cosmetic dentist about having a professional teeth whitening session to restore your teeth to their previous shiny color and bring back your radiant smile.