Coffee, Tea, and Red Wine: How to Manage Tooth Stains from the Most Common Culprits

Take care of tooth stains.

Don’t let discolored teeth ruin your smile.

It happens to all of us over time—our teeth lose their whiteness from staining caused by the foods and drinks we consume. The most common culprits of tooth stains are dark-colored foods, like tomatoes and berries, and drinks like tea, coffee, and red wine. Other stain causers are tobacco products. At Monroe Family Dentistry, we don’t want your discolored teeth to be the reason you aren’t smiling.

Types of Stains

There are two types of dental stains—extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic dental stains are stains that occur on the surface of the tooth, or the enamel. Extrinsic stains are usually caused by food or drinks.

Intrinsic dental stains are stains that start on the inside of the tooth and cause discoloration to the dentin layer. Intrinsic tooth stains are usually caused by dental trauma or certain medications.

Red Wine, Coffee, and Tea, Oh My!

What do coffee, tea, and red wine have in common? Other than being beverages, all three types of drinks are well known for staining teeth. These three beverages all have something called tannins in them. Those tannins are dark proteins that can stick to teeth, especially rough tooth surfaces, like plaque. The tannins can cause discoloration of the enamel layer on your tooth and make teeth look yellow or brown. While you can’t avoid tannins, the team at Monroe Family Dentistry in Greenville, South Carolina, has some tips on how you can prevent your teeth from becoming discolored.

Can I prevent tooth stains?

If you are a fan of drinking coffee, tea, or red wine, you might not be so willing to give up on your favorite beverages. One way you can limit staining from these beverages is by drinking them with a straw. Drinking with a straw limits the amount of time liquids are spent in your mouth and lessens harmful tannin exposure to your teeth, which cause the stains.

Practicing good oral hygiene can also help limit staining and tooth discoloration. Dentists recommend brushing about a half hour after finishing a meal or snack, in addition to the normal tooth brushing in the morning and night, so that nothing has a chance to stick to your teeth and cause staining or discoloration.

Avoid tobacco products.

Doctors and dentists agree that tobacco products should be avoided at all costs because they are harmful to your health. But if you’re looking for another reason to avoid tobacco products, it’s because they can stain your teeth. Over time, the tar and other chemical compounds in cigarettes and cigars can cause the teeth to turn brown in color. The best way to avoid this type of staining is to avoid products with tobacco in them altogether.

What about tooth whitening treatments?

If you are unhappy with the color of your teeth, you may want to ask the dental team at Monroe Family Dentistry about tooth whitening solutions. We offer at-home tooth whitening treatments for our patients.

Monroe Family Dentistry uses the Pro-Sys whitening system. It consists of a custom-fitted tray filled with professional-strength whitening solution that you wear on your teeth for about an hour. This can be done anytime and anywhere. The treatment is easy to use, and can brighten your teeth a few shades in just a couple of treatments. We think you’ll be happy with the results and your brighter smile!

What if tooth whitening treatments don’t work?

If you have tried tooth whitening treatments and can’t seem to erase those stains, the team at Monroe Family Dentistry may recommend dental bonding. Dental bonding involves using a composite material that can be shaped and molded over cracks, chips, and even superficial stains on teeth. The bonds use composite resin on the teeth, and then Dr. Monroe shapes the resin so it looks just like your natural tooth. The resin can be matched to the natural color of your teeth, so no one will ever know you had any dental work done.

Schedule a visit to Monroe Family Dentistry today!

If you find that your teeth are discolored and you are unhappy with how they look, reach out to the team at Monroe Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment. During your dental evaluation and consultation, our team can assess the health of your teeth and come up with a plan of action unique to you for restoring your teeth to a dazzling white.

Whether it is by using a professional teeth whitening solution, a professional dental cleaning, or another cosmetic dentistry procedure, our team wants to help you feel confident with your smile once again. Call us today to schedule an appointment!

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