Our bad habits can harm our teeth, such as smoking, but because our teeth are in contact with the foods and drinks we consume every day, it’s important to be aware that many common foods and beverages can seriously stain teeth. If you’re looking to whiten your smile, it’s best to stay away from these:
- Wine: Red and white wine alike are notorious for staining teeth. They’re acidic beverages that cling to teeth and can do a wide range of damage.
- Tea: Ordinary black tea can do more staining damage than regular coffee. Herbal, green and white tea are less likely to stain.
- Coffee: Pigments from coffee are likely to get embedded in your enamel and cause permanent yellow staining.
- Sodas: Cola is acidic and rich in chromogen, which gives it devastating staining power. Even light colored soft drinks are capable of damaging teeth. Carbonated beverages have acidic properties similar to that of battery acid. When drinking sodas, try to use a straw and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
- Berries: Intensely colored fruits like cherries, blackberries and blueberries can cause intense tooth stains.
- Sweets: Candies, gums, slushies and other sweet treats contain coloring agents that stain teeth. The basic rule is that if you notice your tongue changing color, some of that is probably rubbing off on your teeth as well.
- Tomato-based Sauces: Tomato sauces have a bright red color and are high in acidity, making them exceptionally good at staining your teeth.
- Berry Juices: Just like berries, their juices (or even pies or candies made from them) are also incredibly damaging to teeth and stain easily.
Just as there’s food that can stain your teeth, there’s plenty of foods that can whiten them. Carrots, celery and apples are great for your teeth, as well as lettuce, spinach, broccoli and other greens.