Everyone wants pearly white teeth, but that isn’t always easy to maintain. In fact, some of the food you eat or drink every day can detract from your bright white smile. In this post, we’re taking a look at some of the most common culprits when it comes to foods that can stain your teeth.
Tea and coffee
These are two of the biggest offenders, partially because they are so commonly consumed. Many people drink either tea or coffee (or both!) on a daily basis, exposing their teeth to tannins. Tannins are a type of polyphenol that attracts other compounds to them (compounds like proteins, sugars, and enzymes), ultimately leading to stains.
(Tip: want to weaken the effects of these tannins on your teeth? Try adding milk or cream to your coffee or tea.)
Red wine is also rich in tannins. Plus, the acid in red wine can actually weaken tooth enamel, making it even more susceptible to staining.
Another acidic drink, dark sodas/colas can erode your enamel, leading to stains.
Dark sauces or vinegars
Dark sauce (like soy sauce), or dark vinegar (like balsamic vinegar), can wreak havoc on your white teeth as well. Their dark coloring and high acid content make them a recipe for disaster when it comes to teeth staining.
This could include blueberries, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, or other brightly colored fruits or berries. Of course, these things have other benefits to your health, so it’s not recommended to cut them out of your diet completely. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water after eating them to avoid serious staining. (The same goes for the dark fruit juices as well!)
Anything that promotes bacterial growth on the teeth can also make staining worse, since tooth decay sets the stage for stains.
Similarly, the sugars in starchy foods (like rice and potatoes) do your teeth no favors when it comes to keeping them clean and white. Make sure you brush soon after eating (or at least rinse your mouth with water) in order to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
Highly acidic and brightly colored, tomatoes and tomato sauce can be dangerous for a white smile. Again, brushing and/or rinsing after eating will help keep the stains at bay.
There are plenty of foods out there that can stain your teeth and keep you from maintaining your whitest smile. Still, you can keep your teeth healthy and clean with regular brushing, flossing, and trips to your dentist. If you’re struggling to keep your teeth white, talk to your dentist about the foods that may be causing your problems, and about teeth whitening solutions that can restore your smile to its former brightness. After all, you deserve to have the smile of your dreams!