Have you ever cracked a smile, revealing that your pearly whites are a bright shade of blue? Or walked over to speak with a coworker only to realize their teeth are severely coffee stained? The drinks we consume every day like sports drinks, coffee, and sodas are often highly acidic. They also have artificial ingredients including food coloring and dyes. Not only do these ingredients make drinks blue, red, and yellow, but they also dye our teeth.
One study writes that “most: sweetened and artificially sweetened carbonated beverages, fruit drinks and punches, sports drinks, and energy drinks are dyed with either caramel color or [Artificial Food Colors] in widely varying amounts…many of these beverages are consumed daily by children in the United States.”
“In addition to potentially being loaded with sugar, sports drinks, coffee drinks and other beverages can stain our teeth. If you do choose to drink a beverage that has coffee, dyes, or ingredients that stain enamel, here’s the best way to clean your teeth and preserve your enamel.
- Rinse with water while drinking and afterwards. Often time’s drinks that stain our teeth are also acidic drinks. Drinks that are acidic can wear down on the enamel of our teeth, leaving behind stains on our teeth. Water is the opposite of acidic (called “basic”) and it cleanses our mouth. That’s why rinsing with water afterwards can clean the surface of your teeth without compromising your enamel.
To remove stains from stained enamel, get yourself one of these American Dental Association certified toothpastes and a soft-bristled toothbrush. You may find an electric toothbrush works better than a manual toothbrush with less elbow grease required.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums.
- Move the brush in a gentle scrubbing motion, using short circular and back-and-forth strokes. Pay attention to gently cleaning just under the gum line.
- Brush the inner and outer tooth surfaces making sure you get all surfaces, between the teeth and just under the gums.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Brush at least twice a day, when you get up in the morning, preferably after breakfast; and before going to sleep for the night, after you have finished all eating and drinking for the day.
- Rinse with water after consuming acidic beverages, waiting 30 minutes before brushing.
- Rinse your toothbrush with water and store upright after use.
- Spend enough time brushing. It usually takes about a full two minutes to get all tooth surfaces really clean.
If you’re looking for more whitening power than brushing provides, talk with your dentist. Ensure your gums and mouth are healthy enough before using whitening products. Need a dentist in your area? Click here.