THE BEVERAGE BARGAIN
Why Our Favorite Drinks Stain Our Teeth
We all have our beverage vices: coffee, wine, tea, soda, kombucha ... the list goes on. The problem, as you know, is that many of our favorite beverages come with a trade-off. They may be delicious and make us feel great, but they discolor our teeth. Why is that? Why does green tea, for example, turn our teeth an unappealing shade of gray? Read on to find out why your favorite drinks transform your teeth from bright white to a duller color. Coffee. One of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee is responsible for turning teeth beige. The staining is caused by compounds called tannins. Tannins are “polyphenolic biomolecules,” and they also have astringent properties. That “dry” feeling you get after you take a drink of certain beverages is caused by tannins. Tea. Different kinds of tea have different staining properties. Green tea, for instance, will give teeth a dull gray coloration, while black tea gives teeth a yellowish hue. Even different types of herbal teas can stain your teeth. If you
drink a lot of chamomile or mint tea, over time you may discover your teeth have taken on a beige appearance. Kombucha, another tea product, will also stain your teeth.
Red wine. Like tea, red wine will stain teeth and give them a pale gray appearance. And just like tea and coffee, tannins are to blame.
Dark juices. Blueberry, cherry, pomegranate, and other dark juices are a big problemwhen it comes to staining. They can often discolor teeth faster than coffee or red wine. What can you do? There are a few steps you can take to reduce staining without giving up your favorite drinks. When it comes to coffee and tea, drinking though vented or slotted lids will help protect your front teeth. When it comes to red wine and dark juices, drinking through a biodegradable straw can help, but in this case, your best course of action is to rinse your mouth out with water shortly after consuming your drink, and brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste as soon as possible.
Have a LAUGH
Panzanella, a Tuscan favorite, is a salad that features hearty chunks of bread instead of leafy greens as its base. What could be better for a late-summer cookout?
INGREDIENTS • 1 small loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 2 large tomatoes, cubed • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cubed
• 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced • 1 cucumber, sliced into rounds • 20 basil leaves, chopped
• Salt, to taste • Vinaigrette
DIRECTIONS 1. Place a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add bread and 1 teaspoon salt, and toss often for 10 minutes or until toasted. 2. In a large bowl, mix vegetables and herbs. Toss in bread and your favorite vinaigrette and mix again. 3. Serve immediately or let sit 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Inspired by FoodNetwork
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