10 Foods That Make Your Teeth Stain

Foods to Avoid for a Whiter Smile

When it comes to food and beverages—good or bad—some foods run the risk of staining those pearly whites. Check our list of foods that make your teeth stain and foods to avoid. We’ve also included tips to help you still enjoy some of these foods while minimizing their impact on your teeth. 

  • Coffee – Coffee feels good going down but is notorious for teeth staining. Heavy coffee drinkers are prone to tooth discoloration. Coffee and coffee beans contain tannins (acidic polyphenols), which cause staining on your tooth enamel. Coffee is also highly acidic, which can be harmful to your oral health and cause tooth decay.
  • Tea – Tea also contains the same stain-causing tannins as coffee. And the more you sip, the more your teeth are exposed to acid attacks from tea. The International Journal of Dental Hygiene states that adding milk to your tea (due to the casein in milk) can significantly prevent and reduce staining.
  • Berries – These powerful, antioxidant fruits can also pack a punch on your teeth. Frequent consumption of berries can also lead to teeth staining. To help prevent teeth staining from berries, be sure to brush afterward.
  • Red Wine and Grapes – The same trouble-causing tannins in coffee and tea are also present in red wine. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your vino. Simply pair your red wine with a handful of almonds, which can counteract staining. Plus, simply chewing hard foods like nuts can help scrub plaque from your teeth and stimulate saliva to neutralize acid.
  • Curry – This seasoning, especially popular in Indian cuisine, is deeply pigmented and can cause staining on your teeth. We recommend eating foods with curry occasionally and rinsing and brushing your teeth soon afterward.
  • Dark Cherries and Cherry Juice – Fruit juices tend to be high in sugar, especially dark-colored juices. The higher sugar content found in fruit juices can set up a breeding ground for bacteria and other oral health issues in your mouth.
  • Soda – No matter if it’s clear, solid, regular, diet, or sugar free, sodas and other carbonated beverages are highly acidic and damaging to your teeth and oral health. Water is always the best beverage of choice. You can also try using a straw or opt for seltzer instead.
  • Lemons and Lemon Juice – Many people consider lemon to be a health-conscious addition to water and tea. However, like any other citrus fruit, lemons are acidic and can erode your tooth enamel. Once your enamel is gone, it cannot be restored. Teeth that have lost their enamel appear yellowish in color, due to the tooth tissue that lies beneath the enamel layer.
  • Sports Drinks – Also high in sugar content as well as acids and additives, frequent consumption of sports drinks can be the culprit behind weakened and damaged tooth tissue. Water is always the best choice for hydration.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Popular as a dressing on low-calorie salads or as a stir-in while cooking, balsamic vinegar can be especially sneaky in causing tooth damage. Not only is it dark in color but it is also quite sticky. Balsamic vinegar can adhere to your tooth surface and cause staining. We suggest brushing your teeth soon after eating.

There are certainly other foods that will affect your tooth color, including beets, popsicles, hard candies, tomato sauce, and more as well as smoking and tobacco use.

Consume all foods in moderation and always brush and floss soon after each meal. You only get one set of adult teeth to last your entire life. And your tooth enamel, once worn away, can never be regrown. Consider our teeth whitening if stains are troublesome.

Peace Haven Family Dentistry is your partner in Health and Dental Hygiene!

Make your next appointment with us today!

Houston Symmes

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