Are you a coffee or tea-lover? Then you’re probably aware of the negative effect these drinks have on the color of your tooth enamel. Coffee, tea, and red wine are among the worst teeth-staining beverages but they are not the only ones. In this article, we’ll list the top foods that stain your teeth and give you some practical advice on how to minimize their negative effect without eliminating them from your diet completely.
What Exactly Makes Food a Culprit?
Certain foods and drinks naturally have very strong color thanks to chemical components called chromogens. While these foods look very appealing, they can stain your teeth. A substance called tannin, which is also found in lots of foods and drinks, can also contribute to tooth staining. In addition to that, certain acids naturally present in fruit and particularly fruit juices can wear down your enamel and thus make your teeth more vulnerable to staining. Generally speaking, if a food or drink can stain your clothes, it can stain your teeth too.
Common Foods and Beverages That Stain Your Teet
Let’s have a look at the most common foods and drinks that can affect the natural whiteness of your teeth and even damage your enamel. But don’t decide to ditch them once and for all, especially if you don’t overconsume them – lots of them contain important vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial for your health! However, other foods and drinks are more like comfort foods, which means you can safely cut down on them.
Coffee and tea – along with caffeine, both of these drinks contain tannin, which heavily contributes to teeth staining. But don’t worry about it too much if you like adding milk to your coffee or tea because milk reduces the staining effect.
Red wine – have you noticed how red wine changes the color of your tongue and lips? That’s a pretty good indicator that it’s one of the super-teeth-stainers. While a lot of people enjoy a glass of red wine occasionally, don’t overdo it and don’t drink too much of it.
Fruit juices – contrary to what many people think, fruit juices aren’t at all that healthy and good for you. They’re usually loaded with sugar and even freshly squeezed juices make you overconsume acids and sugars found in them naturally. Just think about it – how many oranges do you need for a glass of orange juice? Now try eating the same amount of oranges in one go (you probably won’t manage it). In addition to that, a lot of fruit and berries are powerful colorants that contribute to stains and weaken your enamel.
Cola and soft drinks in general – Cola’s dark colorants stain your teeth and all the added sugar weakens your enamel. We know, everybody loves soft drinks but it really is best to avoid them as much as possible.
Balsamic vinegar – this is an all-time favorite salad dressing but because of its deep pigmentation, it can leave stains on your teeth.
Tomato-based sauces – tomato sauce is not only tasty but it’s also full of important nutrients. Unfortunately, the deep color can not only stain your clothes if you’re sloppy, but also your teeth.
Beetroot – in the past, beetroot juice was used instead of lipstick and for a good reason. Its color is vibrant, it lasts long, and it’s the perfect stainer. However, make sure you include beetroot in your diet because it’s packed with valuable nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
Soy sauce – this delicious ingredient is essential for most Asian dishes. It’s also a great stainer.
What You Can Do to Minimize Tooth Discoloration
Now you know which foods stain your teeth and how they contribute to the discoloration of your enamel. However, they aren’t really the main culprit – poor dental hygiene is because it lets the harmful acids and bacteria do their nasty job. Luckily, there are quite a few things you can do to improve your dental health and teeth whiteness.
- If you know that your teeth get stained because you consume too much of a certain drink or food, like coffee or tea, try to limit your consumption and look for healthier alternatives.
- Rinse your mouth with cool water after you eat or drink something that could stain your teeth.
- Eat lots of crunchy fruit and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and celery sticks. They stimulate saliva production that washes off bacteria and act as natural stain removers.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with high-quality toothpaste.
- See your dentist regularly and only use proven recommended teeth whitening products.
Remember that your general dental health is directly related to the color of your teeth. Keeping your teeth white always means keeping them healthy.