December 23, 2022
Depending on your situation, you might have discolored teeth. There’s no shame if you do — tooth stains are a natural part of life! That said, did you know your foods and drinks could be the culprit? Indeed, some of these items have tannins that can turn your “pearly whites” yellow. If you’d like to know more, your local Savannah dentist is happy to help. Here, then, is a summary of how tannins stain teeth and tips for keeping your smile white.
Context: Just What are Tannins?
Tannins are substances that give certain foods and drinks their color and bitterness. They usually occur in nature, being found in tree bark, leaves, legumes, and fruits. For that reason, tannins were once used in the leather industry to color animal hides.
As it happens, some people value meals for their tannins. The latter material’s bitterness and astringency can taste pleasant when managed well. Examples of tasty things that have tannins include tea, coffee, dark chocolate, and wine.
How Do They Stain Teeth?
Unfortunately, tannins harm your teeth. For starters, they tend to stick to enamel and attract a product’s pigments. Consequently, tannins tend to cause tooth stains and other discoloration. Furthermore, these substances attract and bind to carbs, sugars, proteins, and more. In doing so, they might trigger tooth decay that results in unseemly cavities.
Adding insult to injury, tannins can even cause dry mouth. After all, they bind to the proteins found in saliva. From there, a lack of moisture helps yellowish plaque grow on and around your teeth.
Tips for Avoiding Tooth Stains
Fortunately, it’s possible to fight against tannins’ stain-causing effects. It’s just a matter of following the proper habits! As such, try using the tips below:
- Ingest Fewer Tannins: Though they’re tasty, try to limit your intake of coffee, red wine, tea, berries, and so on. That way, your teeth will get exposed to fewer tannins and stain less often. If you do have these items, though, use a straw to minimize contact.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: By cleaning your smile after a meal, you can remove tannins before they have a chance to create stains. Therefore, remember to brush your teeth twice daily, floss once daily, and rinse with mouthwash as needed.
- Get Teeth Whitening: If all else fails, you can eliminate tooth stains with tooth whitening. This treatment’s special gel would bleach your discolored enamel white.
As you can see, it’s best to be wary of tannins that cause tooth stains. That being the case, practice the habits above to keep your smile white!
About the Practice
Compass Dental is based in Savannah, GA. As led by Dr. Charles Fana, our practice dedicates itself to excellent, stress-free dental care. To that end, we perform high-quality preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments, as well as emergency tooth procedures. Our team is even a qualified provider of dental sedation for anxious patients. For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (912)-352-3955.
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