Enamel may be the strongest substance in the human body, but it is not impervious to a good cup of dark Darjeeling tea.
Tannic acid is the reason this tea or just about any tea for that matter, will break down the enamel in your teeth and eventually lead to discoloration. The acid breaks down the enamel, allowing the pigments in tea to penetrate, resulting in a smile that lacks the gleaming radiance you’re hoping for.
So, does that make abandoning tea – and possibly a whole bunch of foods and beverages adorning your pantry – the right thing to do for your smile? Is drinking filtered water and eating vitamins the only way to keep my smile brilliant?
Thankfully, the answer is no.
There are ways to stop the process that can discolor your precious enamel.
For instance, in the case if tea, you can neutralize the acid with a good brushing after. Doing so allows you to dilute the tannic acid as well as physically remove it from your teeth. Other options are to drink water afterward dilute the acid. Another option is to drink your tea through a straw.
Similar steps can be taken with other foods that stain. The following is a list of some common foods that stain teeth:
- Sports drinks (Acids they contain eat away at the enamel)
- Sauces (especially the more colorful variety like curries, tomato sauce or soy sauce)
- Vibrantly-colored berries
- Candy (always good to avoid for reasons other potential staining)
To see if a food will stain your teeth, ask yourself if it would require bleach to remove that food if dropped on the linens? If the answer is yes then you may want to take precautions.
Although swishing a drink, such as wine, in your mouth seems like a good way to savor the flavor, exposing your teeth to so many agents of discoloration may not be a good idea. Be efficient when drinking. Drink so that the liquid doesn’t linger, or choose to use a straw.
Moderate your intake of things like blueberries or raspberries. It’s not a good idea to completely eliminate them as they are rich in antioxidants, but choosing a grapefruit once in a while instead is not a bad idea.
In most cases, the stain can be removed at your dental cleaning appointment by your hygienist, but sometimes you need a heavier dose of whitening, such as EZ WHITE which can be performed in either our Rocky Hill or West Hartford office.