It just doesn’t seem fair: we’re told to consume heart-healthy foods and beverages like red wine, dark chocolate, coffee and berries that are said to keep our bodies young, but they all occur to stain and discolor teeth, making us look older.
If you want to prevent tooth discoloration, or if you’ve whitened your teeth and want to protect that investment, these tips will help keep your pearly whites pearly white.
Two of the main threats to white teeth are foods and drinks that are acidic and deeply-colored. Acidic foods are problematic for teeth because they can erode the enamel, which makes teeth more translucent and reveals the yellow-brown dentin underneath.
Crushing berries and vegetables like spinach and kale in smoothies actually further release their pigment into the beverage and onto your teeth. Soda and energy drinks containing dyes may also stain your teeth.
The result: teeth with a not-so-nice, yellowish hue. Acids in foods also soften tooth enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to abrasion, wear, and stains. Sports and energy drinks, soda, wine, coffee, and tea all have high levels of acidity, so limit your consumption.
Foods and drinks that are both dark and acidic constitute a double whammy against white teeth. Be conscious of your consumption of sweet foods. Candy and other sugary foods threaten overall whiteness by softening enamel and allowing plaque to develop.
How to Prevent Teeth Stains
Chew sugarless gum. Sugarless gum increases saliva flow, which helps rinse your teeth. Gum that contains the artificial sweetener xylitol can help prevent cavities. Just be sure to keep gum away from your pets, as it can be extremely toxic to dogs in particular.
Limit the use of whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste works but it can be abrasive. Limit use to one to two times per week.
Follow cautions from the manufacturers of home whitening kits. Whitening kits offer major benefits, but products that contain peroxide can damage enamel, causing teeth to look gray.
Talk to your dentist or doctor. Certain antibacterial mouthwashes and medications like liquid iron supplements and antihistamines contribute to staining. Ask about alternatives.
Don’t let these foods and drinks linger in your mouth. The less time they spend on your teeth, the lower the chance of staining.
Rinse with water. If you love to savor your red wine, keep a glass of water nearby and swish immediately afterward to rinse, and then swallow.
Add crunchy fruits and vegetables to your salad plate. If you’re eating berries that can stain, crunchy foods will help cleanse your teeth.
Use a straw-It may not be an appealing method for wine drinkers, but using a straw can really help smoothies and juices bypass your teeth.
Finish a meal with a piece of cheese or a glass of milk. Dairy helps neutralize acidity and also contains calcium, which strengthens teeth.
Brush teeth for a full 2 minutes. Keep plaque off of your teeth. Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles. If it’s within your budget invest in a high-quality electric toothbrush.
Floss regularly- This prevents stains from developing between teeth.
How to Stop a Toothache from a Broken Tooth
Every tooth has a hard, outer layer called enamel. Enamel is the hardest material in the whole body. It protects the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve tissues.
Cavities are the leading cause of toothache and decay, which can actually break your teeth. Biting into something hard, loosened fillings, and sports accidents can also cause you to crack enamel or break a tooth.
You require seeing your dentist as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage from occurring to the tooth and gum tissues. Don’t delay in calling for an appointment; many dentists leave slots on their schedule open for emergencies such as this.
Things to Avoid
If you have a broken or cracked tooth and are not capable to see your dentist immediately, do what you can to keep pain from worsening. Note that these are temporary measures because only a dentist or orthodontist can repair a damaged dental nerve.
Foods and beverages that are very cold or very hot: Since the dentin layer of the tooth (the tissue that lies underneath the outer enamel layer and surrounds the pulp) has likely been exposed by the crack or break in the tooth, extremes in temperature may reason pain.
Foods and beverages that are very high in sugar or are very acidic, as they may irritate the nerve in the tooth
Easing Your Pain
Floss between the teeth that are cracked or broken. Removing food particles and plaque, the sticky film that coats the teeth and contains bacteria may decrease pain. Be careful not to poke too deeply around the affected tooth.
Use oil of cloves (eugenol), which can be found in most health food stores. A natural anesthetic, it’s been used in dentistry for over a century. Soak a small piece of cotton in the oil, and then blot the cotton on a piece of tissue to remove the excess.
There’s no doubt that once you have a cracked or broken tooth, you don’t want to have one again. Be aware of the most common reason and do your best to avoid them:
Tooth decay destroys the hard enamel and cementum of your teeth, exposing the nerves and leading to sensitive teeth and toothaches. You require seeing your dentist get your tooth decay repaired, but what do you do until your appointment? Here are some dos and don’ts for dealing with cavity pain.
Before you take any pain-relief steps, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. If you can’t be seen right away, ask the dentist what you can do to relieve the pain.
To prevent drug interactions, be sure to tell him or her medications you’re presently taking. If the pain fades temporarily, don’t cancel that appointment—the pain is bound to return, and the damage won’t have repaired itself.
Your teeth are sensitive because bacteria in plaque produce acid that eats away tooth enamel. Avoid foods and beverages that are very cold or very hot.
Since the dentin layer of the tooth has been invaded by the tooth decay, it may react painfully to extremes in temperature. You may want to brush your teeth with warm water rather than cold water as well.
Pass on Sweet or Acidic Foods and Beverages
You should also avoid foods and beverages that are very high in sugar or are very acidic as these both can worsen tooth decay. Your teeth may or may not be directly sensitive to them the same way as hot and cold, but they can contribute to further decay and more pain.
Try Using Oil of Cloves (Eugenol)
Found in most health food stores, eugenol is used in various dental materials because of its antiseptic and anesthetic properties. Using eugenol at home may help decrease your tooth decay pain.
Soak a small piece of cotton in the oil, and then blot the cotton on a piece of tissue to remove the excess. Using a clean pair of tweezers, hold the cotton on the painful tooth for 10 seconds, making sure you don’t swallow any of the oil.
Brush and Floss
Don’t avoid brushing or flossing the painful area. Keeping your mouth clean can help, as clumps of bacteria produce acid that can further trigger pain. Try flossing between the teeth that are painful. Removing the food particles and plaque may help decrease the toothache pain.
Seal the Hole Temporarily
Some pharmacies have OTC temporary filling material that you may be capable to use to seal the decay-created hole, at least temporarily. If you can identify where the decay has caused a cavity, you might use this tactic.
Referred to as molars or molar teeth, these are the flat teeth located at the back of the mouth. They can vary in size and shape but are the largest teeth in the mouth. Molars are rounded and used for grinding food into plainly swallowed pieces. The smaller and sharper front teeth are used for biting and tearing food. Molars are designed to sustain great amounts of force from chewing, grinding and clenching, and each molar is anchored to the jaw bone with two to four roots.
There are three types of molars. These come in after a child loses their baby teeth:
The third molars, or wisdom teeth, are vestiges from our evolutionary past when the human mouth was larger and more accommodating to additional teeth. These additional teeth were useful in chewing especially course foods, such as roots, nuts, leaves, and tough meats. This type of diet was tough on the teeth—especially without the helpful maintenance tools we enjoy today like toothbrushes, paste, and floss—so our ancestor’s teeth were subject to significant wear and loss due to tooth decay.
The Problem of Wisdom Teeth
Though it hasn’t dumped our wisdom teeth yet, evolution has, unfortunately, made some adjustments to the size of our jawbones throughout our history. The jaws of modern humans are smaller than our ancestors. This presents a range of problems when those vestigial wisdom teeth try to squeeze in.
When wisdom teeth form, they can become blocked by our other teeth, and they’re referred to as being “impacted.” If a wisdom tooth partially erupts, this can generate a hard-to-reach haven for bacteria that can lead to serious infections of the gums and surrounding tissue. Wisdom teeth may also never erupt. This carries with it problems as well, including the potential development of cysts or tumors that can do considerable damage to the jawbone and teeth if left unaddressed.