I love cherries this time of year. I sometimes eat a whole bag full in a day. But I started to worry they may be staining my teeth. So I asked Dr. Jennifer Plotnick, a dentist in Brooklyn, NY, and Dr. Victoria Veytsman, a dentist in Manhattan, NY, for advice.
“A lot of things that cause staining are particularly popular during the summer,” Plotnick told me on the phone. Examples include the aforementioned cherries, plus blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Even fruit popsicles and iced coffee can stain teeth, Plotnick said.
Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are acidic, and can can cause discoloration because they erode tooth enamel, Veytsman wrote in an email.
Unfortunately, things that stain our teeth are too delicious to refuse. “We are not going to be able to avoid the things that stain our teeth because we all really enjoy them,” said Plotnick.
What can you do? Simple! Rinse your mouth out with water after eating these summer teeth stainers, and brush your teeth about 20 to 30 minutes later, said Plotnick.
She went on to say, “I always make the analogy when you have your morning coffee, and forget to wash out the cup, you always notice a really dark ring on the inside of the cup when you pour out the coffee. But if you rinse out the cup right after you drink the coffee, that ring doesn’t even appear.” So Plotnick tells her patients if they wash away the food they just ate with water, they can really minimize staining.
What else works? Both Plotnick and Veytsman said whitening strips from the drug store work well. Plotnick said she recommends patients get a good dental cleaning before doing any kind of whitening technique.
And watch out for mouthwashes that contain alcohol and fluorides, which can stain teeth. Both dentists recommend an alcohol-free mouthwash, such as Listerine Naturals.
Tell me. How do you brighten your teeth? Let’s talk pearly whites in the comments!
BTW, you know my obsession with Instagram. Dr. Plotnick’s practice, Grand Street Dental, has the. best. feed. Check it out here! It even got a mention in The Cut, New York magazine’s style blog. You can read that post here. Dr. Veytsman’s practice, Cosmetic Dental Studios, has a great feed, too. See it here. Some of her patients may look familiar!
This year, I’m doing the Eyecandy Project 52 photography challenge. Every week, we have to take a picture inspired by a prompt, such as From Above. Some prompts are relevant to the time of year, some are more evergreen. I’ll post my more successful efforts here about once a quarter. Check out the Q1 highlights here.
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