First of all, not everyone has the genes for pearly white teeth. Besides this, your teeth naturally darken as you grow older. And the truth is that what you eat or drink contribute a whole lot to the way your teeth look. If you want to know those foods and drinks that are notorious for causing stains on the teeth then read on.
Here are some tooth discolouration culprits:
If you require regular dosing of this perk-up, then you need to be ready to deal with the stains that can sometimes resemble those from cigarette smoke. Regular coffee is acidic, causing tooth erosion, which makes it even easier for further staining.
So much has been said about the health benefits of green tea, most of which are exaggerated. The truth is that green tea is rich in antioxidants and can make for a zero-calorie drink. However, regular consumption of green tea can discolour your teeth.
In Nigeria and many other parts of the world, black tea is the real tea! It has just enough caffeine to get you going but is certainly milder than coffee. Studies also show that black tea can help fight tooth decay.
However, before you rush to get a fresh pack of this tea, just remember that it also stains the teeth. The great news is that its staining ability is less than that of coffee or green tea, especially when taken with milk.
Whether it is agbo jedijedi, ponkriyon; the packaged Alomo, Ruzu; or the home brewed tea from plant leaves, herbal medicines are commonly taken by Nigerians.
Apart from the fact that they have the potential to destroy the liver and kidneys, herbal medications can also stain your teeth. Those which are combined with alcohol also do the most damage
It may be true that ‘he who brings kola brings life’, but this caffeine containing, ceremonial bitter fruit that is popular in Nigeria ceremonies readily stains the teeth dark brown.
So many people believe that this awful tasting fruit has numerous medicinal properties, many of which have not been proven. What has been proven however is that those who consume a lot of bitterkola have stained teeth.
Soft drinks are mostly acidic, encouraging staining from other sources. Some drinks like the colas and the orange coloured ones also stain your teeth directly.
Even though the first is a tuber and the second is the flower of the hibiscus plant, the colours of their juices look similar. And if they stain whatever surface that they spill on, trust me, they will also stain your teeth.
This widely consumed alcoholic drink is rich in tannins, which in combination with the alcohol can stain your stain dark.
These antioxidant rich fruits are very good for your health but if you take a lot of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries or grapes, then you are also likely to have stained teeth.
Mouthwashes that contain chlorexidine gluconate, and to a lesser degree, cetylpyridinium chloride can stain your teeth dark brown when used beyond the time frame prescribed by your dentist.
The best way to prevent stains is to reduce the contact that your teeth have with those products. This involves:
If you already have stains, then you can find out what you can do to deal with them here or you can just visit us at Nene dental centre in any of our Lagos and Abuja branches.
Dr. Olatunde Asagba is an alumna of the dental school at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is passionate about public health issues and is actively involved in expanding healthcare access through telemedicine.