5 Drinks that Stain Your Teeth

Glass of orange juice with orange slice on rim on picnic table with slived orange and full orange next to the glass on a sunny day

The actual color of your tooth is determined by the color of your dentin, the second layer of your tooth. However, your enamel can be stained and result in tooth discoloration.


Discover 5 common drinks that stain your teeth and learn how you can help prevent your teeth from becoming stained.



More than half of the American population enjoys at least one fresh cup of coffee every day. Unfortunately, the acid and chromogens in coffee can stain your teeth.


Acids in foods and beverages break down your teeth’s enamel, making it easier for the enamel to be stained. The chromogens in coffee are compounds with strong pigments that easily cling to enamel.


Cup of coffee on saucer with spoon and packet of sugar and cup of tea on saucer with spoon and sugar cube



As a surprising finding, WebMD reports that tea may actually be a bigger staining culprit than coffee.


Both black and green teas, whether iced or brewed, are drinks that can stain your teeth, due to the tannin compounds in them (these make it easier for stains to stick to your teeth).



Soda is very acidic and also, like coffee, contains chromogens. As the acid weakens your enamel, it’s more likely that the staining compounds in soda will cling to your teeth.


While dark soda is an obvious culprit, clear sodas also stain teeth because the citric acids within them make your teeth more prone to staining from other beverages and foods you consume.



Red wine is highly acidic, contains chromogens, and also contains tannins – the perfect recipe for staining your teeth.


While white wine doesn’t have the chromogens that give red wine its deep color, it’s still acidic and contains some tannins. This means that white wine breaks down enamel, paving the way for other foods and beverages to stain your teeth.


Row of 3 wine glasses with white, red, and dark red wine


Juices & Sports Drinks

Due to their acidity and deep colors, fruit juices can stain your teeth as well. Darker juices, like grape juice or cranberry juice, are especially guilty of discoloring your teeth.


The sugar and acid in energy drinks make them a danger to your pearly whites.


Protect Your Smile from Drinks that Stain Your Teeth

The best way to protect your teeth from staining is to avoid drinks that stain your teeth. However, there are other ways to help reduce the likelihood that your drink will stain your teeth, like drinking the beverage immediately and not sipping on it throughout the day.



The best thing you can do to wash away the harmful effects of tooth-staining beverages is to follow up the beverage with a glass of water. Much like your own saliva, water can rinse out your mouth.


Cup of coffee on saucer with spoon next to coffee beans and glass of water


Don’t Brush Your Teeth Immediately

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, brushing your teeth immediately after drinking an acidic or sugary beverage can do more harm than good. Because your enamel is already weakened by the acid and sugar, brushing your teeth can potentially remove even more enamel.


Wait at least 30 minutes before you brush your teeth.


Sugar-Free Gum

Your own saliva helps rinse your mouth of the harmful acids and sugars you consume. A great way to stimulate saliva production is to chew on a piece of sugar-free gum after you drink a tooth-staining beverageGreen gum stick in opened green wrapper


Keep these tips in mind to help protect your smile from drinks that stain your teeth. Also, remember to maintain a good dental routine – brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit the dentist for a professional dental cleaning every six months.


For more information or to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. We are dedicated to providing you and your loved ones with the best dental care.