What Foods Stain Teeth: Common Culprits

Avoiding Food Stains With SET

Many people wish that their teeth were whiter. One thing that you may not realize is causing your teeth to be discolored is the things that you eat. The foods you eat can actually have a significant effect on the color of your teeth. Join us at SET in Fairfield, CT as we dive into some of the most common foods that can stain your teeth.

Coffees & Teas

Tea and coffee are both highly acidic, which can weaken the surface of your teeth, making them more susceptible to staining. Tea and coffee also both contain tannins, which help their coloring stick to your teeth. There is some evidence that having milk in your tea or coffee can help reduce the amount of staining.

Sauces

Dark-colored sauces such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curries also cause staining. Switching to lighter or creamy sauces can help mitigate some staining.

Fruits & Berries

There are many vibrant fruits that can stain your teeth. Think of the fruits that can stain your clothes – pomegranates, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries just to name a few. In the same way that they can stain your clothes, they can stain your teeth.

Sodas

Sodas are highly acidic thanks to their carbonation. In addition, the dyes in these drinks – including light-colored ones – can cause staining. There are also chemicals in the drink that eat away at your enamel.

How to Mitigate Staining

There are several things you can do to mitigate the effects of food on the color of your teeth. While cutting out the food listed above would be the number one way to reduce their effect, even we enjoy having them so we’ve included things you can do to reduce the staining while still enjoying your favorite foods.

  • Use a straw. Using a straw when drinking your favorite beverage helps reduce the amount that the acidity and coloring of the drink comes into contact with your teeth.
  • Brush after you eat. Brush your teeth about 30 minutes after you eat food that can stain. It’s important to wait a little bit of time to allow the acidity in your mouth to get balanced out so you don’t cause additional damage.
  • Rinse your mouth. If you cannot brush your teeth after eating, rinsing your mouth with water can help reduce the acidity of your mouth and remove some of the staining agents from your mouth.
  • Visit your dentist. Having regular checkups and teeth cleanings at your dentist is a great way to help your smile stay beautiful.

In addition to providing teeth cleanings, we also proudly offer teeth whitening services in the Fairfield, CT area. Please give our studio a call at 203-763-1088 or use the link below to schedule an appointment for a teeth whitening.

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Best Gum For Your Teeth

Choosing the right gum can help support your teeth and prevent cavities. The wrong gum, whether too sugary or acidic, can undo most of the health benefits associated with gum chewing. When choosing a gum it’s important to keep a few factors in mind, sweeteners, the American Dentist Association (ADA) seal, and acidity.

Sugar Isn’t the Only Sweetener

Sugar-free gum is the only choice if you’re looking for a healthy option. The best gum for your teeth will be sugar-free. Sugar-free gums usually contain xylitol as a substitute. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that provides sweetness without providing fuel to bacteria. Some sugar-free gums contain sorbitol as a sweetener rather than xylitol. Xylitol has been shown to offer better protection against cavities than sorbitol.

Be Aware of Acidity

Fruit-flavored gums in particular can have higher acidity levels than others. Research has shown that acidity can counteract the other benefits of sugar-free gum. This acidity, just like the acidity in fruits, sodas, and juices, can increase the risk of tooth decay. Sticking to less acidic flavors such as traditional mint flavors may be the safe option.

The American Dentist Association Seal of Acceptance

Some gums, along with other types of oral hygiene products, will have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. To earn the ADA Seal of Approval products are vetted to ensure they are both safe and effective oral health products. Looking for this seal can be an easy and reliable way to choose dental hygiene products including gum.

The Best of the Bunch

  • Spry contains a large amount of xylitol meaning it’s both very flavorful and effective at preventing cavities.
  • Recaldent is another sugar-free xylitol-containing chewing gum. Recaldent however also contains other compounds that have been shown to help to re-mineralize teeth in a similar way to fluoride toothpaste.
  • Trident is a popular sugar-free chewing gum brand that contains some xylitol making it a better option than many other popular brands.

If you are trying to improve your oral health routine our team at SET is happy to help starting with your first appointment. Call us at 203-763-1088 or schedule an appointment today to get started.

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Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Whitening Procedures at SET Teeth Straightening and Whitening

Teeth whitening has been around for decades and millions of people use whitening products – including plenty of dentists. According to dental professionals, they haven’t seen an increase in problems like cavity risk or tooth fractures after teeth whitening procedures. SET works to provide safe teeth whitening services for our patients in Fairfield. 

The Side Effects

  1. Teeth sensitivity: your teeth may become more sensitive after getting them whitened. You may experience this after your first or second treatment, and it can diminish with time. Ask Dr. LoPresti if he can recommend products for treating sensitivity at your next appointment. 
  2. Irritated gums: you may also experience gingival irritation, which happens when your gums become irritated. If the whitening products touch your gums, then they may become irritated, but SET takes precautions to eliminate this risk. 

The Benefits

  1. Safety: The American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that hydrogen peroxide whiteners are safe and effective. 
  2. It is a quick process: you can have whitened teeth in just one session rather than waiting months for at-home products to take effect. 
  3. It saves time: you don’t have to have your teeth professionally whitened very frequently, in fact, whitening your teeth frequently can actually damage your teeth. With just a couple of sessions of professional whitening, you can achieve the desired color of your smile. 
  4. You don’t have to worry about safety: we take care of your teeth like they are our own at SET. We only provide the safest procedures at our office, the side effects of teeth whitening usually only apply to at-home products that can damage your smile. 

If you are worried about your upcoming teeth whitening procedure or worried about an at-home product you are using, you can always ask Dr. LoPresti if the product is safe. SET offers professional teeth whitening that is safe and effective. If you would like to schedule a teeth whitening appointment, use the button below to schedule online, or learn more about teeth whitening at our Fairfield, CT office. 

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Is Fluoride Good For Whitening Teeth? 

Curious about Fluoride and Teeth Whiteness in Fairfield, CT?

Fluoride is one of the most researched nutrients, with over 50 years of peer-reviewed scientific studies confirming its various dental health benefits. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing and strengthening your teeth. This is why professional treatments often use fluoride after teeth whitening to reduce sensitivity and protect enamel.

Fluoride is a component of saliva that when combined with calcium and phosphate forms tooth enamel. It is often referred to as a cavity-fighting mineral. Water fluoridation has been around since the 1940s. Fluoridation is done because in some areas the water contains lower levels than are ideal for our oral health. In many places fluoridation is unnecessary because the water already contains optimal levels. 

Because fluoride naturally supports your teeth it is an important part of maintaining teeth whiteness after whitening them. Many people also experience increased sensitivity after having their teeth whitened which fluoride diminishes. Any teeth whitening either professional or at home is best supported by maintaining proper oral hygiene, which includes supporting enamel with fluoride.

Why Do You Need Fluoride? 

Fluoride is absorbed by the teeth and protects against tooth decay. Your teeth are constantly under attack by acids and bacteria. If these are left unchecked, these acids and bacteria will break down your teeth over time by causing tooth decay in the form of cavities. Cavities usually begin as microscopic damage to your tooth, but fluoride acts as concrete poured into a crack, protecting against such damage and even reversing early tooth decay.

How Do You Receive Fluoride? 

Unfortunately, the amount of fluoride obtained through food is not sufficient to protect your teeth. Throughout both childhood and your adult years, your dentist will apply fluoride treatments at appropriate intervals. These fluoride treatments are put directly on your teeth and are usually in the form of a rinse, gel, or foam. You leave the fluoride in your mouth for a minute or so before either spitting it out or having it rinsed away. This is typically the part in your dentist visit where your dentist asks you the type of flavor you want!

Fluoride and Teeth Staining

Too much fluoride can cause a condition known as fluorosis. This typically occurs when too much fluoride has been ingested by children and can cause discolorations and long-term stains. Professional Teeth whitening for fluoride stains and fluorosis is actually a very effective solution.

Hearing about how fluoride can cause teeth stains might make you anxious, particularly if you are already concerned about the whiteness of your teeth. If that’s the case it is important to remember that fluoride occurs naturally and only overexposure, particularly at a young age, poses real risks. Fluoride-free toothpaste and teeth whitening toothpaste without fluoride isn’t advisable. This is because your teeth won’t be remineralized which actually increases the chances of staining.

Fluoride is an incredibly important part of your oral health routine. You should go to your regular dentist every six months for a checkup, where you should get a fluoride treatment. This will help prevent decay and maintain teeth whiteness. If you are interested in teeth whitening in Fairfield, CT because of fluoride stains or another reason, give us a call today.

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A Good-Looking Path to Better-Looking Teeth: Invisalign® Systems and Other Clear Aligners

Are You Ready for a Better Path to Straight Teeth at SET Teeth Straightening and Whitening?

Braces can feel like a bit of a contradiction. You want a clean, straight smile, but you first have to wear a highly visible device on your teeth for months on end. You want a well-aligned bite, but for a while braces make some day-to-day tasks, such as brushing teeth and eating some foods, more difficult. 

Fortunately, for those who want to show off their pretty pearly whites as they go AND show off the results of their realignment as soon as possible, one option is clear plastic removable aligners such as Invisalign® aligner systems available in Fairfield, CT.

The Benefits of Clear Aligners

Clear aligners, as their name suggests, are clear plastic devices intended to straighten your teeth over time. They are nearly undetectable by observers. Not only are they more difficult to see (getting you closer to being able to show off that perfect smile), but they can be taken out temporarily when needed, allowing you to brush your teeth or eat without distraction.

The Clear Aligner Fitting Process

For most clear aligners, including Invisalign® systems, your dentist will take a mold of your teeth and send it in. From there, orthodontic experts will determine the difference in positions between where your teeth are and where you want them to be and will create several stages of aligners to gradually move your teeth into the desired position. You’ll have to wear the aligners most of the time—about 22 hours a day. At certain points in the process as your teeth change position, you’ll move on to the next device, switching them out until your teeth are right where you want them to be.


How to Pay for Clear Aligners

Depending on the degree of work your teeth need, an Invisalign® clear aligner treatment can cost between $3,000 and $7,000. According to Invisalign’s® website, your insurance may be able to pay as much as $3,000 of the cost. For the amount your insurance doesn’t cover, you have some options.

SET Teeth Straightening and Whitening offers payment plans which allow you to split a large bill into smaller payments over time. At SET we never want anyone to have to choose between being confident in their smile and other important things in your life. 

For those who can use them, clear aligners such as Invisalign® systems can be the least intrusive solution for straightening teeth. Many adults are hesitant to receive teeth alignment treatment because of the stigma associated with traditional braces, Invisalign® takes any self-consciousness out of the process. Clear aligners offer relief to any anxiety about braces meaning you don’t have to worry about the looks and inconveniences of traditional braces! The initial cost of clear aligners may seem daunting, but options are available to help pay for them. If you have any questions about clear aligners or other methods of straightening your teeth, please give us a call at (203) 763-1088. We’ll be happy to walk you through your options and help you find the best possible solution for your smile.

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