The fact that food can stain teeth should be no great revelation. After all, given the rich, dark pigments that many of our favorite foods and beverages share, staining seems almost inevitable. Still, that does not make the burden of tooth stains any lighter to bear.
When you understand how foods stain teeth, preventing the blemishes makes more sense and can be accomplished with greater success. Fortunately, if you fail prevent your food from staining your teeth, then you can brighten your smile with a professional teeth-whitening treatment.
Simply put, the color of your food can significantly determine its staining capacity. Taking a closer look, the color of your food is dictated by color molecules called chromogens. These darkly-pigmented particles have a tendency to stick to your tooth enamel, vandalizing your teeth’s clean white surfaces.
Dental plaque, a collection of oral bacteria, saliva, and food debris, can also contribute to the risk of stained teeth. For instance, dark foods can stain the plaque on and around your teeth quicker than it stains the surface, marring your smile’s shine quicker. Control dental plaque by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, and minimizing sugary snacks.
Softening Your Tooth Enamel
Dental plaque contributes to tooth staining in more than one way. Within the sticky biofilm lies a bacterial strain called Streptococcus mutans, which converts sugars and carbs into acid and excretes it onto your teeth. The acid weakens your tooth enamel, allowing chromogens to gain a stronger hold of it and increasing your food’s tooth-staining power. Limiting dental plaque by brushing and flossing also limits this acid production, reducing the attacks against your enamel and increasing your chances of preventing tooth stains.