Dark colored drinks and caffeinated beverages are known to cause stains on the teeth'
New Delhi, November, 2014:
That splendid cup of coffee we wake up to every day seems to single handedly drive us through our morning blues. The same cup comes to our rescue several times a day when stress and too much work is driving us crazy or keeping us out of bed.
While most of us just cannot live without our daily coffee or tea, not many know that this stimulant that is such a boon for our minds can become a bane for our teeth. Dark colored drinks and beverages are known to cause stains on the teeth, much like they leave a repulsive stain on your clothes if they happen to spill. The sight of yellow teeth not only gives you a negative appearance, it also talks something about your hygiene levels. Yellow teeth can actually put off people.
Not to say that you need to give up your daily cup of coffee. But, it is necessary to know that some basic corrective measures are needed to prevent the colored beverages from latching on to the teeth. Literally!
Our teeth are covered by the hard tissue called enamel that protects the crown of the teeth from damage. Enamel is the hardest tissue in human body and is comprised of minerals. What makes enamel susceptible to yellow stains is the fact that there are microscopic spaces on the enamel that allow alien molecules to stick to it.
“Colored beverages have microscopic molecules called chromogens that have a tendency to stick on to the spaces in the tooth enamel. Over a period of time, these colored molecules become like a part of the teeth and give it a repulsive yellow coloring. Another factor that causes discoloration of teeth is acidic food. Along with coffee, food items like fruit juices, colas and spicy food has similar effect as they tend to erode the enamel. Besides yellowing, this will have more serious consequences like sensitivity or cavities,” says Dr Chetna Mehta, Axiss Dental, New Delhi India’s leading multi-specialty chain of dental clinics.
So, do you need to cut down on your daily intake of coffee? Yes.
The more coffee you consume, the more yellowing effect you will have on your teeth. In any case, too much addiction to caffeine, is not a good idea for your overall health as well. It may cause acidity, kill your appetite and make your mind dependent on it. So, it is best to limit the intake of coffee to one or two cups daily.
Yet, when you consume even just one or two cups of coffee every day, you should follow certain hygiene rules to prevent your teeth from its harmful effects:
- Wash your mouth regularly: After finishing each cup of coffee, do not let the particles stay in your mouth for a long period. Immediately wash your mouth thoroughly or brush your teeth to remove the sticking beverage molecules from the enamel. This will not only clean off the chromogens, but will also remove any food particles sticking to your teeth that may cause decay in the long run.
- Use salt to give cover to your tooth enamel: Salt is very useful for the teeth as it can form a protective covering around the enamel and prevents alien particles from sticking to the teeth. After every meal, take a cup of lukewarm water, add a small quantity of salt to it and use it to rinse your teeth. This will be helpful in the long run
- Abstain from drinking coffee throughout the day: If you cannot do without coffee, at least try to have regular time slots to consume it, say drink a cup after every meal, and then brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush. Do not keep a cup at your desk all day and go on sipping from it.
- Keep seeing a dentist: Make it a point to visit a dentist once a year to get your teeth examined for potential problems. Do not wait for the problem to start. We often meet people who are in their 30s or 40s and have never ever visited a dentist. This is not the right approach. Ask the dentist if your teeth need cleansing or any other remedy.