Thanksgiving is a time when people eat a lot of food that stains their teeth. Knowing which foods are the biggest culprits and how to minimize the damage from these foods can help you preserve the appearance of your teeth at this festive, fun time of year.
Foods that Stain
There are a multitude of foods and beverages that stain teeth at the holidays. Below is a list of the worst ones. Be mindful of the damage these foods can cause as you consume your meal. Minimize your intake of these foods, if you can.
- Tea. Teas are known to stain teeth very badly, but green and white teas are less problematic than brown teas.
- Red wine. Red wine has tannins and chromogens, which makes it a very powerful tooth staining beverage.
- Coffee. Despite it's darker, richer color, coffee is actually not as bad as tea for staining teeth because coffee is relatively low in tannins.
- Berries. Berries of all kinds can stain teeth. At the Thanksgiving table, you'll find berries in pies, other desserts and in cranberry sauce.
- Brown gravy. Brown gravy often contains soy sauce, which is known to stain teeth badly.
- Beets. While not a traditional Thanksgiving food, beets are found in many salads that may be served at the Thanksgiving table. Beets are so potent that the juice from beets has been used for centuries to dye clothes and was even used in Victorian times to dye hair. Now, you know a food like that is going to do damage to your pearly whites!
Minimizing the Damage
Just because you love foods that stain your teeth doesn't mean that you can't eat what you want this Thanksgiving. These tips will help you keep the staining to a minimum.
- Brush your teeth before eating your meal. This makes your teeth a slicker surface, which will prevent the food and beverages from sticking to your teeth.
- Drink lots of water during the meal. Sparkling water will help flush food out of your mouth as you eat.
- Wait a while after the meal, then brush your teeth. Waiting for a while after the meal will let the saliva in your mouth do its job. Help with some dishes or go for a walk after the meal is over, then brush your teeth when you're done.
For more information about protecting your teeth at this festive time of year, visit http://www.claremontdentalinstitute.com or a similar website.