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Are My Favorite Drinks Staining My Teeth?

Posted on October 22, 2015 in Common Questions, Beauty


Are you a southerner who enjoys sipping on sweet tea?

Or an early-bird who likes to jumpstart their day with a strong cup of coffee?

Or a connoisseur of deep red wines?

If so, then you are probably well aware of the unfortunate price that comes with enjoying such wonderful beverages...stained teeth.

"Every rose has its thorn," and some of America's favorite drinks are no exception.

It is no myth that tea, coffee, and red wine have a staining effect on natural teeth.

Staining occurs because the microscopic pits, fissures, and defects in the tooth's enamel are susceptible to stain-producing substances, such as those beverages that we love so much.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to determining whether something will stain your teeth or not is this: if it will stain a white tablecloth, it will more than likely stain your teeth.

A substance is determined to be stain-producing if it meets one or more of these criteria:

1.  The substance contains chromogens.  Chromogens are what produce the dark color in a substance.  The more chromogens a substance contains, the darker the substance will be.  These pigmented molecules have a propensity for latching onto dental enamel.

2.  The substance is acidic.  Substances that are acidic erode the enamel, temporarily softening it and making it that much easier for the chromogens to adhere to the enamel.

3.  The substance contains tannins.  Tannins are a compound that boost the choromogen's ability to latch onto the enamel and wreak staining havoc.

Fortunately, the story does not end here.  Stain-producing substances do not win the battle.

Here at Montgomery Dentistry, we are happy to help you tackle your issues with stained teeth, as well as give you the news that you have been hoping for:  "You don't have to deprive yourself of your favorite beverages for the sake of maintaining white teeth!"

Montgomery Dentistry offers a take-home whitening kit that patients can do on their own, or an appointment can be made to have a more intensive whitening performed here in our office by a professional.

Having your teeth whitened regularly, along with daily brushing and flossing and maintaining regular dental exams will ensure that your teeth keep the beautiful pearliness that they were designed for.

Whiter teeth and a cup of sweet tea?  With Montgomery Dentistry, it is possible!

Contact us at any time to schedule an appointment or have your questions answered.

Photo Credit: Martin Cathrae​


About the Author

Dr. Amy Morrison Anderson

Dr. Amy Morrison Anderson

Dr. Amy Morrison Anderson joined our practice in July 2005.  She is a lifelong resident of Montgomery, and a graduate of Jefferson Davis High School, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Dentistry.

She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Alabama Dental Association, and the Academy of General Dentistry.

Dr. Anderson most enjoys doing veneers.  “The reward of seeing my patients’ self-confidence and self-esteem boosted by a beautiful smile is immeasurable.”

Brandon, her husband, is also a graduate of Jefferson Davis High School and Auburn University.  They have one daughter, Bailey Elizabeth, and twin sons, Caden and Cole.

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Jackie Alker

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