The secret to a stain-free smile
Anyone who’s gotten their teeth professionally whitened—or at the very least used drugstore-bought whitening strips—knows a thing or two about what to stay away from to keep those pearly whites nice and bright. No coffee, smoking, red wine—oh, and tons of flossing. But as much we all claim to want a celebrity-worthy smile, the fact is most of us aren’t doing what it takes to get there. For instance, a whopping 25 percent of us don’t brush our teeth twice a day. And one in three people have never flossed their teeth in their life. Gross, right? If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not one of those referenced in these stats, but you’re probably wondering what it takes to get a stain-free smile. We asked top dentists to share the most surprising culprits behind stained teeth.
You load up your plate with seedy fruits
Nature’s natural sweets—especially dark ones like blueberries, blackberries, and pomegranates—might taste delicious and be good for you, but they can wreak havoc on the brightness of your tooth enamel. “These dark berries are made up of a compound called chromogens, which produce a pigment that is difficult to rub off,” says Gerry Curatola, DDS, RealSelf Advisor and founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry. “And it’s not only eating them raw that causes this—even in full recipes like pies or cakes, the berries leave their mark.” Your best bet when it comes to enjoying a bowl of fruit is to stick to lighter colors that contain more water like cantaloupe and watermelon.