More and more patients are asking me this question on a regular basis, and it is perfectly logical, as we live in times when we as a society pay a lot of attention to aesthetics, which includes our smile.
Like expert in aesthetics and endodontics at Vélez y Lozano, I am used to answering this question, especially for those patients who, already worried about the shade of their teeth, have undergone or are about to start a tooth whitening or veneers treatment.
It is perfectly logical, when we have one of these treatments, what we want is for the best possible results to last as long as possible.
In reality, the answer is, as you might guess, extrapolable to absolutely everyone, whether they are cosmetic dentistry patients or not.
The three foods that stain teeth the most
In my experience, the foods that would make the 'top' are:
- Black tea. More so than coffee, contrary to popular belief. Its tannin content promotes darkening of the teeth.
- Frutos rojos. Such as blueberries or strawberries. Their strong pigmentation is difficult to remove from our enamel.
- Red wine. Again, the tannins, only combined with the chromogens in its composition and the acidity of the drink itself. Also, it is usually drunk in larger quantities than tea.
However, and this may come as a surprise to you, my advice is to eat what you want and enjoy it without thinking that they can stain your teeth. As a doctor I cannot deny you healthy and balanced foods that are good for our daily diet. The best advice I can offer you all in this respect is this: eat a balanced and healthy diet, without worrying about staining.
But, then, you may ask, if my teeth are stained, What do I do, Diego?
Well, what anyone would do: resort to conservative but effective treatments in your dental clinic, which are none other than whitening and veneers.
A whitening is a conservative 100% process in which a whitening agent (in our practice carbamide peroxide), without wearing away or deteriorating the surface of the tooth, permeates the inside of the enamel, cleaning it in depth and eliminating stains, achieving an improved final colour.
The dental veneers are also a minimally invasive treatment, in which we place a very thin layer of ceramic on the front face of the tooth, improving its appearance, shape and colour.
Now you may be wondering, but what if I have already undergone these treatments, should I avoid the foods you mention?
Well, no, I insist on the same as in the previous point: eat what you want and enjoy it without thinking about staining your teeth.
And I will give you some facts that you may not know so that you can understand why I say this:
- A repeat whitening is perfectly advisable. Perhaps not a complete cycle every few months, but a reminder every 6 to 12 months will bring back the brightness and luminosity of your teeth.
- Dental veneers are much more resistant to staining and colour changes than our own teeth. Dental ceramics are less porous than enamel, which means they retain less plaque and "age" better than our teeth.
- You can also whiten your teeth if you have veneers. Since they are a very thin film and only on the front of the tooth, the whitening will reach the rest of the tooth and whiten it as well.
No to bleaching pastes
Finally, there is one thing I strongly advise against: toothpastes with a whitening effect. The reason is that they are very abrasive to the enamel, as to achieve this effect, what they do is 'scratch' it, which in the long run will also cause, in addition to a higher rate of caries and other pathologies, such as tooth sensitivity, the fact that they will look even more yellow, because the dentine will be exposed (always in the long run, of course) and it is of this colour.
Moreover, part of this white effect is achieved by deception, or at least concealment of the truth. Many of the substances that achieve this have a momentary effect that wears off in just a few minutes.