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Protect Your Teeth from Secret Stains
July 13th, 2013 by Dr. Watson

It’s easy to protect yourself from things you know will stain your teeth, but what about those mysterious offenders you didn’t even know are turning your pearly whites into dull yellows? It is not uncommon for Jackson, MS residents to have stained teeth, but we at Jackson Center for Smiles are going to give you the information you need to keep your teeth healthy and beautiful. Don’t forget to schedule regular cleanings, because Dr. Watson is the expert on getting rid of stains and making sure they never get a chance to hurt your smile.

Everybody knows that beverages like tea, coffee and red wine are some of the worst tooth-staining culprits around, but did you know that there are a number of other beverages that can take away from your beautiful smile? Sports drinks, white wine, and cranberry juice are not your teeth’s friends.

They replenish your electrolytes, so sports drinks are just generally healthy, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. Due to the high acidity level, sports drinks cause tooth erosion. Not to mention the excessive quantity of sugar found in many sports drinks. How can you minimize negative effects? Chug it! We don’t really want you to gulp it down in a few seconds, but drinking sports drinks in a shorter amount of time (rather than all throughout the game) will keep the exposure to your teeth at a minimum. Rinse your teeth with water to help even more.

Here you are thinking that red wine is worse for your teeth, when Dr. Watson comes along with some new information. Studies now suggest that white wine is actually capable of stripping the enamel and darkening your teeth, and that effect is compounded if you happen to drink other staining beverages after the white wine. You are welcome to call Jackson Center for Smiles anytime for specific instructions, but we recommend that you don’t brush your teeth after drinking wine for 20-30 minutes, as that could damage your enamel further. It is better to swish with water and wait to brush.

This tooth-staining beverage is not quite as stealthy as some of the others we will discuss. The pigments in cranberry and other juices (indicated by dark color) are known to cause stains and yellow teeth. We at Jackson Center for Smiles recommend that our Jackson, MS patients get very comfortable drinking from straws, and as always, swishing water in your mouth afterwards helps.

Now that we’ve covered the beverages responsible for secretly staining teeth, we’ll discuss some common home-health products that are lesser-known enemies of a bright and shiny smile. Pepto-Bismol can turn your teeth black, and over-whitening may actually make your teeth appear less white.

Before you prepare yourself for a life of stomach discomfort, let us tell you the whole story. This popular gastrointestinal cure-all has been known to cause an odd side-effect: turning your teeth and tongue black. It is temporary and harmless. The bismuth in Pepto-Bismol can react with the sulfur in your saliva to produce a harmless chemical that happens to be black. In most cases, brushing your teeth will clear this right up. However, you can always come to Jackson Center for Smiles for a cleaning and we’ll make your teeth nice and shiny again.

There is some disagreement among scientists, but the majority of dental health researchers believe that using whitening treatments too often can negatively affect your teeth by making them more porous and reducing their top layer of enamel. This in turn makes your teeth appear slightly discolored, which is exactly the opposite of what you wanted in the first place! How do you protect yourself? Be reasonable with how many treatments you use and remember that Dr. Watson is always available to help you make the right dental health choices for a healthier mouth and a beautiful smile. Call Jackson Center for Smiles today to set up an appointment!