Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

Talk to Your Teenagers About These Risk Factors for Stained Teeth

by Stephen Silva

By the time your children are teenagers, you'll have hopefully instilled the value of brushing, flossing, and caring for their teeth. However, your teens might not necessarily be thinking about stains on their teeth. Stained teeth might not seem like a major deal to you, but for image-conscious teenagers, teeth that are anything but pearly white may cause them to feel embarrassed. While you can always schedule a whitening appointment for your teenager at your family dentist, it's also worthwhile to talk to your teens about some products that can promote staining. The good news is that these products are generally best to avoid for other reasons, so making your teens understand this information can help them make smart choices.


Many teenagers will feel peer pressure to smoke, given that their friends may be experimenting with the habit. While it's likely that your teens will indeed know the health risks of smoking, this information may not deter them. You might, however, have your teens steering clear of cigarettes if you explain how they're apt to stain the teeth. Talk about how cigarettes are full of harmful substances, including tar, that can leave a yellow residue on the teeth. During the next dental checkup, you may even wish to ask for the dentist to reinforce this message by showing your teen some photos of smokers' teeth.

Drinking Dark-Colored Soda

Many teens reach for a dark-colored soda throughout the day, often for a burst of caffeine or for a jolt of sugar. While cola is harmful in a number of ways, it can also lead to stained teeth. Talk to your teens about how the dark dyes in cola, root beer, and other such beverages can eventually leave their teeth stained. The added bonus is that this conversation can compel your teens to stay away from these drinks, which can also reduce their risk of cavities.

Artificially Colored Foods

Many foods that teenagers favor contain artificial colors. The concern with this additive is that it can lead to stained teeth. Make sure that your teens learn how to carefully check the ingredients listing in the foods that they buy. This is especially important with snack foods. Candy, chips, and other such foods—which are generally unhealthy to begin with—will often contain artificial colors that make the foods appear a certain hue but contribute to the staining of teeth.

Talk to a professional such as Olson, Brant N DDS PA for more information.