Healthy Foods That Stain Your Teeth

What happens when its the healthy foods that stain your teeth? Let’s look at one of the most difficult beverages…

As Greensboro’s premier Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Farless takes great pride in his work. It is his hope to give you the smile of your dreams – well into the future. In order to make sure that the amazing results you achieve in our office stay with you for years to come, it is important to understand how important “lifestyle choices” are to your continued health and beauty.

Of course, the old adage “all things in moderation” is as true today as it always has been. However, there are a few simple things that you can reduce (or eliminate) from your day-to-day routine that will help your smile to glisten for as long as possible.

We’ve decided to begin this discussion by tackling one of the most damaging – and popular – drinks available … Coffee [gasp].
A Latte of Problems

I’m not going to tell you that this glorious elixir is anything other than a caffeine packed, sugary cup of delicious heaven – because then, I would be lying. In fact, most of the articles we’ve written are directly inspired by having too many cups of coffee.

Sadly though – for someone concerned about the color and health of their teeth – coffee is one of the worst things you can put in your mouth that doesn’t come with some sort of detonator switch. And, it goes much deeper than coffee’s bold brown color, or distinctive smell, or the way it makes you feel after the first sip in the morning … [Can you tell how much I hate breaking this news?]

The problem with coffee – in regards to keeping your teeth white – lies in its ingredients. Separately, all of coffee’s components can damage your oral health, but together, they are like a wrecking ball attacking your entire mouth.
WARNING: Coffee addicts are about to be seriously bummed-out.

Sugar:
A Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks contains around 50 grams of sugar. Now, before you Google, “How much sugar is too much sugar?” just trust me when I say that 50 grams of it is too much. The causes of many diseases of the mouth (gingivitis, periodontitis, halitosis, etc.) are directly related to the over-consumption of sugar (i.e. candy … another blow for me personally).

This is because sugar acts as food for bacteria. It is the digestion of sugar by the mouths bacteria that causes: cavities, bad breath, tooth/bone loss, pain, inflammation, and more. So, sugar is a big thing to be avoided if you are trying to keep your smile pearly white.

Caffeine:
Caffeine can really mess-up your smile by its self. It wears down the protective enamel that coats your teeth causing yellowing, cavities, bad breath, and harmful inflammation. These effects are intensified by the energizing nature of caffeine, which can cause teeth clenching – leading to a build-up of pressure and stress on the jawbone and the teeth its attached to.

Artificial Coloring Agents:
While artificial food coloring agents aren’t usually disclosed in coffee’s list of ingredients, several of the items that are contained in coffee do include food coloring components. Many of these dyes have shown to be active carcinogens (cancer causing) and they also stain the teeth the color of the dye. In the case of many coffee drinks (like my favorite, the Pumpkin Spiced Latte) that color would be a exquisite shade of brown.

Acid:
Obviously, acidic drinks will dissolve the enamel of teeth, and coffee is – naturally – an acidic drink. When you strip your teeth of their enamel, its porous surface is exposed, ready to absorb anything surrounding it. Essentially, they become sponges for disease-causing bacteria and food-dye -which means even more decay and discoloration.

“Natural” Flavors:
You might not know this (or want to accept it), but food companies do not need to explain themselves regarding what they consider to be “natural” – leaving A TON of room for interpretation. A pro-tip would be for you to be wary of any food or drink that talks of natural ingredients, but refuses to list them.

In Closing
Of course, moderation is essential to maintaining your health. So, If you are worried about your coffee in-take, we recommend keeping your “joe” consumption to a minimum and making sure to keep your regular appointments with your dentist.

SOURCES:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/327662-the-harmful-effects-of-caffeine-on-teeth/
http://foodbabe.com/2014/08/25/starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte/
http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/espresso/pumpkin-spice-latte
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/reasons-vegans-read-labels-natural-flavorscastoreum.html