Stained Teeth? These 9 Foods May Be the Culprits

These 9 Surprising Foods And Drinks Lead To Stained Teeth And Dull Smiles – Find Out Why, And What You Can Do About It

It’s no secret that coffee and soda can leave permanent shadows on your teeth. But they are not the only guilty parties that take the luster out of your shiny white smile. You can’t tell by looking, but your teeth are porous. Remnants of food and drink, especially dark colored ones, can take refuge in those pores, leaving your teeth looking dull and discolored. And if those foods and drinks are piping hot or freezing cold, the temperature change to your teeth can make it easier for stains to leave their mark.

You’d think the moral of the story is to avoid dark coloured food, and problem solved, right? Maybe, if colour was the only problem. Foods high in acids or tannins, regardless of colour, can erode your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to stains. And when tannins and chromogens team up, their stain-making power on your enamel makes it hard for your pearly whites to fight back.

9 Surprising Foods That Lead to Stained Teeth Over Time

  1. Chocolate

Say it isn’t so! Chocolate, one of the sweetest treats known to mankind, is actually out to destroy the smiles it helps to create. Hot chocolate is the double threat, as it’s not only dark colored, but, you know, hot.

  1. Red Wine

Yes, red wine is chock full of potential health benefits, but white teeth isn’t one of them. Rich in tannins, this delicious red elixir can leave a lasting mark on your carpet, couch, clothes, and teeth.

  1. White Wine

But, it’s white. How can white wine lead to stained teeth? Blame it on the tannins. And acid.

The acid in wine leaves your teeth susceptible to stains from other drinks. However, if your typical beverage intake only consists of white wine and water, your teeth might be better off than someone who also drinks teas, sodas, coffee, juices, pretty much any drink that isn’t water.

  1. Tea

Those wonderful little tannins are apparently everywhere, including tea. Hot tea carries a greater staining risk, but both hot and iced tea can leave their mark. But you can reduce the staining probability by drinking green, white, or other light herbal teas.

  1. Berries

Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, pretty much any berry that can stain your shirt can also stain your teeth. And it’s no surprise – people have use berries for years to dye clothing. The health benefits from the antioxidants may be worth blue or red teeth, though.

  1. Curry

This flavorful little Indian spice powder doesn’t exactly stain your teeth over time – it can leave a lasting mark fairly quickly after consumption. Proceed with caution.

  1. Ketchup

Ketchup is like the magic trick of the culinary world – it has a way of making many awesome foods even more awesome. But this shiny red condiment is hiding another trick – the ability to dull your smile’s sparkle. Tomatoes are extremely acidic, and can help rip away your precious enamel.

Experts suggest eating broccoli or lettuce beforehand can help form a barrier to deter staining, but it won’t prevent it.

  1. Salad Dressings

Balsamic vinaigrette, soy sauce, dark colored dressings – they all share that same “dark” quality that can mask white teeth.

  1. Popsicles

Come on, really? Popsicles? It’s just frozen juice! Granted, not all popsicles should get the teeth-staining rep. If you are cooling off with a lemon-flavored or other lightly colored icy treat, it’s usually fine. But the crazy-colored, fun-shaped, sugar-loaded frozen concoctions on a stick can deposit those pretty-looking dyes directly into your teeth’s pores, and they might just stay there.

How to Combat Stained Teeth The Quick and Easy Way

Of course, knowing this information does not mean you now have to go through life without ever eating chocolate or drinking wine again (because what kind of life would that be, anyway?).

First, drink plenty of water when consuming any dark or acidic foods and drinks. This helps drown the stain-causing enemies and wash them away before they can latch on to your teeth. Also, the sooner you brush your teeth after consuming any of the above tasty treats, the less chance they have of leaving a permanent mark on your smile.

It doesn’t get any easier than that.


About Dr.Bach: 

Dr. Normand Bach received his dental degree from the University of Montreal in 2002, and completed a certificate of multidisciplinary residency at Notre-Dame Hospital in 2003. In 2008, Dr. Bach completed a Master’s Degree of Science and a Certificate in Orthodontics at the University of Montreal. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Montreal and is responsible for the undergraduate orthodontic clinic, in addition to maintaining a private practice limited to orthodontics in Montreal.