What's staining your smile? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

What's staining your smile?

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Working at a dental practice, Monica Perry has learned a few tricks of the trade.

Like drinking coffee with a straw to keep your teeth white. And rinsing often.

"After I have my cup of coffee, I usually get my water and rinse, immediately after," says Perry

The whole idea is to get the straw back behind the teeth, so that when you suck in the coffee or whatever, soda especially, it's going back in your mouth, down your throat, not on and all over the teeth.

Because Dr. Alex Rodriguez of Inman Park Dentistry says if you're one of those folks who likes to slowly nurse your coffee for hours each morning? Bad news.

"That's probably the worse thing you can do for staining your teeth. It's going to definitely stain your teeth," says Dr. Rodriguez

"Drink it in 15-20 minutes. Your soda in 15-20 minutes, because it's not just the color of your coffee. It's the acidity to it. The acidity in the coffee, the acidity in the soda."

Acid makes your teeth more porous, so the enamel sucks up stains. And it's not just coffee.

Fruit juices, red wine and white wine - sodas - yogurt - are all acidic. So are berries.

"I eat those things all the time, people shouldn't stop eating those things because they're worried about their teeth. But, the point is, if you're doing that a lot, have some water handy to swish with it afterwards."

Even better than water? Rinse with a non-alcohol-based mouthwash.

"You want something that's says "anti-cavity" rinse, that's got fluoride in it. Which helps to harden the outer layer of teeth and make them a little more impervious to stain."

Or, pop in a piece of sugarless gum.

"I'm a huge fan of sugar-free gum. It really helps to get the stain off the teeth, get a little bit of saliva flowing."

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