Do you drink a lot of coffee or tea? Someone who knows this and meets you for the first time probably wouldn’t be surprised to see that your teeth are yellow. The same goes for red wine: if you drink it regularly, it could dull the brightness of your teeth.
Liquor drinker? You could see a bad case of periodontal disease, possibly even mouth or throat cancer.
Take a look below for more information on how your drinking habits can affect your teeth.
· You worry when you spill red wine or coffee/tea on a white blouse. That stain it’s making on the blouse also means it can stain your teeth. In fact, the deeper the color of the beverage (hello, red wine!) the more it can stain your teeth because deeply colored drinks get that way because of chromogens, highly pigmented molecules that can – and often do – latch on to your tooth enamel, staining the tooth.
· But wait, there’s more: the acidity found in beverages (even if not colored brightly) can stimulate tooth staining because they erode your tooth’s enamel, which softens your teeth briefly, making it easier for those chromogens to cleave to your teeth.
· Coffee and tea also have a compound known as tannins within them and tannins also can help chromogens’ ability to stick to your tooth enamel.
· Wine contains both tannins and acid. And you’re not safe if you drink “only” white wine, as these beverages also promote teeth staining.
· If you think switching to tea will mean your teeth will stain less than if you were to continue to drink coffee, think again: black tea is quite rich in tannin. Aim to drink less black tea and more green, herbal and white tea; you’re less likely to see your teeth stain than if you drink primarily black tea.
· We don’t have to tell you that colas and sodas have a lot of enamel-eroding acid within them, paving the way for staining. But don’t think you’re safe if you drink the sports drinks instead: they also can be highly acidic/enamel softening.
· Heavy drinkers should know that alcohol irritates the mouth’s soft tissue and lessens the amount of naturally excreted saliva. Because the skin inside your mouth is very delicate, alcohol can easily corrode your gums, skin and cheeks. Heavy drinkers also have a greater chance of developing cancer in the throat or mouth because alcohol can change the way tissue cells divide.
To help your teeth stay bright, as you drink these beverages, if possible:
· Use a straw.
· Swallow promptly – don’t let the drink sit in your mouth.
· Rinse your mouth as soon as you can with water.
· Brush and floss your teeth as soon as you can.
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