Whitening teeth & diet
7 Healthcast: Whitening teeth & diet
"Beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, dark syrupy sodas tend to stain your teeth pretty quickly," said Dr. Ada Cooper of the American Dental Association.
It may not always be practical, but Dr. Cooper recommends a simple way to minimize staining.
"Sometimes drinking through a straw allows that beverage to go right back into your throat, bypassing your teeth altogether," she said.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry touts eating raw vegetables as a natural way to whiten teeth, but some healthy foods can have the opposite effect.
"Food sometimes like blueberries, raspberries, things that would stain a white shirt, often tend to stain your teeth pretty quickly as well," she said.
Dr. Cooper says many patients don't need expensive whitening procedures to remove some food stains.
"Those types of surface stains can sometimes be removed just by using a whitening toothpaste," she said.
She cautions patients against trying to brighten their teeth by using pure baking soda, which is a mild abrasive, or lemons, which can erode enamel.
And nothing takes the place of good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)