Why Does Food Stain Teeth?

eatingChances are, you’ve experienced tooth stains at least once before. If so, than you are probably aware that even the slightest blemish on a single tooth can mar the brilliance of your entire smile. Unfortunately, even if you diligently practice your daily dental hygiene routine, tooth stains can occur simply from the foods you eat. Sheridan dentist Dr. Coon explains how your meals can discolor your teeth in an effort to help you prevent bothersome stains.

Acid, and the Sharing of Color

The color and tint of your food is controlled by chromogens; small molecules that cling tenaciously to your tooth enamel. When you eat, bacteria in your mouth convert the sugars and carbs in your meal into lactic acid, which saps minerals from your teeth and weakens your tooth enamel (a process called enamel erosion). When enamel is weakened, chromogens are able to cling to it easier, and your teeth can stain more quickly. This acid attack also paves the way for bacteria to reach your main tooth structure, called dentin, and begin the process of tooth decay. Incorporating milk, cheese, and/or meat into your meals will provide a good source calcium and other nutrients that will strengthen your enamel against attack.

Keep Your Smile Healthy and Bright in Sheridan

Minimizing excessive sugar in your diet is an effective way of inhibiting bacteria’s acid production, while brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day can help you control bacterial buildup (which results in dental plaque). Rinsing your mouth with water periodically throughout your meal can help rinse away plaque, food debris, and chromogens, as well. To learn more about protecting your smile’s health and image, or to speak with your Sheridan dentist about improving your dental hygiene, schedule a consultation at Grinnell Street Dental by contacting our Sheridan dentist office at (307) 672-7567. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.