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Don’t Let These 4 Thanksgiving Foods Stain Your Smile

November 10, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drpanneck @ 3:42 pm
a gravy boat with cranberry sauce in it

Thanksgiving is just around the corner! With family on their way into town and a feast of food to look forward to, nothing can seem to go wrong. However, what you may not know is some of the foods and beverages that you love the most during this time of year can stain your teeth, causing your smile to look dim. By being mindful of not consuming too much of these four common, stain-causing foods, you can keep your grin looking bright and healthy.  

What Causes Teeth to Stain?

Teeth can become stained for several preventable and non-preventable reasons, including genetics, taking certain prescription medications, undergoing medical treatments like chemotherapy, poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, and eating certain foods and drinks. As you consume certain items, the tannins that provide them with their brilliant, deep color (think red wine, blackberries, etc.) can gradually seep into the dental structure and cause it to become more discolored. The same is true with tobacco use.

While many people turn to store-bought products like whitening toothpaste, strips, and gels, these often don’t offer the results they promise, especially for the more stubborn, deep-seated discoloration. Professional teeth whitening treatment can tackle both the extrinsic (surface) stains as well as intrinsic (internal) discoloration to reveal a smile that’s up to eight shades brighter.

Popular Staining Thanksgiving Foods & Drinks

The trick to keeping your smile looking bright, whether that’s after you receive professional teeth whitening or not, is to mind what you eat, limiting your consumption of foods that are high in tannins. On Thanksgiving day, you could encounter a lot of these stain-causing treats:

  • Mulled Wine: While absolutely delicious, mulled wine is made with regular red wine and spices. While the spices added won’t harm your smile, if you drink too much of it or sip on it throughout the day, it could cause your teeth to look more discolored.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar is a key ingredient in salad dressings and side dishes. Eat too much of it and you can find that its deep color may seep into your smile!
  • Berry Pies: Blackberries, blueberries, and cherries all taste delicious in pies, but they’re also known to be fruits that are high in tannins. Try not to eat too many of these treats on Thanksgiving, or just substitute them for a classic pumpkin pie.
  • Cranberry Sauce: Typically, there are two groups of people, those who love cranberry sauce and those who don’t. If you’re a fan, know that cranberries can lead to dental staining in addition to being very acidic.

It’s not necessary to completely avoid these foods in order to keep your smile bright. You can still enjoy them, just be sure to do so in moderation! Exposing your teeth to tannins regularly throughout the day without giving your saliva a chance to rinse away debris or drinking water can cause discoloration to occur more rapidly.

About the Author

Dr. Sarah Yarnell has been practicing dentistry for years and truly values everyone that enters her practice doors. With a goal of helping her patients feel confident and comfortable with their smiles, she offers a variety of enhancing services, ranging from simple professional teeth whitening to veneers. To learn whether cosmetic dentistry is right for you, schedule a consultation by visiting Woodsprings Family Dentistry’s website or call 870-932-8488.

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