Food & Footage

Archive of October 2016

October 17, 2016

Beware of These Food Items if You Want White Teeth

Are there people out there who have teeth as white as they show in advertisement? The dazzling whiteness can be bit of a stretch but it is possible to have healthy white teeth without applying too much Photoshop on it.

A pearly white appearance of the teeth enhances your charm and acts as a confidence booster, especially in an interview or public speech. Wouldn’t it be a shame is something happens to the pearly white sheen of your teeth?

This is not a plain threat. It is a real danger that looms on your teeth if you don’t take control of certain aspects of your diet. Apparently, your diet has a significant role to play in maintaining the beauty of your teeth. However, teeth can turn yellow due to natural causes, so it is necessary to get the whole picture straight.

Why the Yellow Color?

So why does your teeth turn yellow, why not some other color, have you thought about that?

First of all, your teeth appear white because of enamel, the outer layer that covers it. If the enamel starts to wear out due to age or any other activity, it starts becoming translucent.

As the opacity of the enamel layer reduces, the next consecutive layer underneath enamel starts to show. This layer is called dentin and is yellow in color.

It is the natural yellow tone of dentin that is visible to us. Therefore, the more warn out your enamel is, the more visible is the dentin layer. This means your teeth would appear yellower.

The degradation of enamel with time is the reason why many older people have yellower teeth. It is a simple matter of age.

Watch What you are Eating and Drinking

Apart from the wear and tear due to age there are other factors that you can control. By watching what you eat or drink you can save your teeth from those food items that stain or erode the enamel due to their acidic nature.

Here is a list of food items that are detrimental to the good health of your enamel. Consider this that while you will lose nothing in avoiding a few of these items, some are genuinely good for you. So you can minimize their intake to reduce the damage to the enamel.

Aerated Drinks and Sports Drink: All the different colas, sodas and sports and energy drink in the market tend to come down hard on your enamel. They have acidic sugars, citric or phosphoric and carbonic acid in them.

Black Tea: Remember stuff that stains your white shirt? Well that stuff is tannin and black tea contains a lot of it. A popular teeth discoloration agent isn’t even as healthy as your green tea which is quite better for your teeth, as well as your health.

Wines: Red wine has tannins and polyphenols that can stain your teeth and cloths as well. White wine has tannins and its acidic nature makes your enamel susceptible to more erosion by other substances mentioned here.

Sweets: All the colored sugary candies and sweets that your dentist advised you against can be detrimental to your enamel the longer they stay in your mouth. They kind of prepare your enamel to be attacked by other staining agents, plus they contain high amount of sugar.

Sauces and Other Condiments: Bright colored sauces like soya, chilli, tomato etc. affect your enamel by latching on to it. Even curry based recipes tend to stain your enamel. Some of the greens like broccoli have shown to create a protective layer over enamel. Therefore, it is advised to start your meal with the greens.

Packaged Fruit Juices: Due to the preservatives added in the juices available in the market, they have high acidic content. Fresh fruit juice is way different story as it does not contain any additives that can be detrimental to your enamel.

Deep Colored Fruits: Many fruits like berries, pomegranate or beetroot have compounds called ployphenols that impart a deep color to them. While polyphenols being good for our body, they are not so welcoming to our teeth’s enamel.

What Can You Do?

Yes, some of the previously mentioned items harmful for your enamel need not be avoided as they are good for your body. So this begs the question, what remedial measures you can undertake.

  • A common mistake is to presume that after eating something that is bad for your enamel you should rush to brush your teeth. This would be counterproductive to whitening your teeth as after you’ve had any of the above products since they render your enamel soft.
    So the sooner you use your toothbrush on it, the more chance you have of scraping your enamel away from your own hands. Instead, wait for at least an hour, when the enamel has hardened again and use a soft bristled toothbrush on your teeth.
  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly after you’ve had a meal. Just take a big sip of water and move it around in your mouth and it will wash away any acids or compounds detrimental to your oral health.
  • Use the natural protection of saliva as its your biological guard against cavities and enamel erosion.

When Your Teeth are Already Yellow

For a majority population, the train has already left the station. A large chunk of population is living with slightly or majorly eroded enamel. Is there a way for them to whiten their teeth?

Yes, thankfully there are a natural teeth whitening remedies as well as kits available in the market that could help you whiten your yellow teeth.

If you are looking for an easy and natural teeth whitening remedies, here are a few-

  • Baking soda: Baking soda when mixed with different products works as a wonderful teeth whitening remedy. Mix it with lemon or apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide if you wish and apply on your teeth for 1 minute. In no time you will see the effect of this remedy. Do it fortnightly.
  • Fruit Peels: Banana peel and orange peel work as mild abrasives and remove any staining agents attached to the enamel. Rub the white portion of banana peel on your teeth and in the case of orange its white pith.
  • Turmeric paste: Mix peppermint oil and coconut oil in turmeric to make a paste and apply it on your teeth. Being a mild abrasive, turmeric works wonders despite being a staining agent. Its antibacterial properties are great for your oral health too.

If the enamel erosion is extreme, it is preferable to visit a dentist. You might have to visit more than once, given the state of your teeth and the procedure could cost you below $1000. Despite the huge cost, seeing a professional is the best bet especially if it is hampering your self-esteem.