The public has been influenced by the portrayal of perfect white smiles in the media. . The color quality of television, movies, electronic and print media has raised self-awareness of discolored teeth.
In the late 1980’s several companies introduced both home-based products and professionally applied tooth whitening products into the marketplace. These have gained popularity with the public who has come to demand whiter, more perfect smiles.
But in this article we will look through which food and drinks that we consume in day to day life will cause yellow and stained teeth. Also we will discuss some healthy fruits and herbal products that will make our teeth more white and shiny.
What causes teeth to look yellow?
Multiple factors cause teeth to become dull and lose their bright, white sparkle. Enamel is the outermost whitish part of the teeth. There are various reasons that can stain the white enamel and cause yellow and dull teeth.
Causes of tooth discoloration can be categorized into two main groups: intrinsic and extrinsic staining.
Intrinsic staining, sometimes called internal staining, can be attributed to factors such as
- Age: The layer below whitish enamel is dentin, which is yellow in colour. With increasing age, the enamel becomes thin and the underlying dentin exposes which makes teeth appear yellow.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics like tetracycline if consumed in pregnancy by mother can lead to staining of teeth.
- High levels of fluoride: High fluoride level in drinking water cause staining of teeth.
- Developmental disorders and can start before the tooth has erupted.
- After eruption of the tooth some dental restorations can cause tooth staining.
Extrinsic staining, sometimes called external staining, is largely due to environmental factors including
2. Pigments in beverages and foods:
3. Metals such as iron or copper.
Colored compounds from these sources are adsorbed directly onto the surface of the tooth causing a stain to appear.
Some of the foods that stains the teeth:
- Berries – Particularly blueberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, grapes, and other colored fruits.
- Beets – Prevent juice form as they are in most concentrated forms
- Dark Chocolates and Candies
- Black Walnut
- Sauces and ketchup- Including soy sauce, curry sauce, tomato sauce, and other deeply colored sauces.
- Sweets – Sweets often contain teeth staining coloring agents.
Some of the beverages that stains the teeth:
- Black Coffee
- Carbonated beverages
- Fruit juices – Drinks such as cranberry juice
- Sports drinks – Highly acidic sports drinks have capacity to dissolve tooth enamel which exposes the yellow dentin.
- Tea – Since black tea have tannins in them it is better to avoid dark colored teas, like English Breakfast and Earl Grey
- Wine – Particularly red wines
Fruits and Herbal products that offer whitening of the teeth:
In one of the study whitening of enamel shade was found to be increased in teeth which were treated the toothpaste containing ingredients of herbal origin the chemical toothpaste.
The study concluded that these herbal product not only make teeth white but also bring internal changes in teeth which make teeth more stronger and healthier.
Also after brushing with herbal toothpaste helps against the caries and cavity formation in teeth.
A variety of other herbal products offer whitening effect of teeth and are enumerated below with their mechanism of action:
- Strawberries and apples contain malic acid which is a natural enamel whitener. It also helps to prevent caries in teeth.
- Celery, carrots and sesame seeds have high fiber content and act as mild abrasive which scrubs and removes surface stains effectively.
- Pineapple and orange contain an enzyme known as bromelain which removes superficial stains and also reduces plaque buildup.
- Papaya contains enzyme papain which is more like bromelain and removes superficial stains and reduces plaque buildup. Papain enzyme is found more in unripe papaya than ripe papaya.
- Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt contain lactic acid which is a natural enamel whitener and also increases the production of saliva.
- Kiwifruit contains actinidin which removes surface stains on enamel.
- Lemon extract and peel contain citric acid which bleaches the stains on enamel. It also has antibacterial properties.
- Banana peel is rich in potassium, magnesium and manganese which are absorbed over teeth surface making them appear white.
- Rock salt acts as a mild abrasive and removes superficial stains. They increase the pH of the saliva thereby exerting antibacterial properties.
- Activated charcoal is negatively charged and binds to the positively charged plaque on tooth surface and is thus absorbed over tooth surface whitening it.