Having discolored or yellow teeth can be embarrassing. And while discoloration is a natural change that can occur to your teeth over time, there are plenty of ways to prevent your teeth from losing their shine.
There are many ways to make your teeth whiter, from scheduling routine cleanings to take-home kits and in-office whitening treatments. And while whitening tools can be effective, what you eat and drink in the meantime can help those whitening treatments go a lot further.
Avoiding some common foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth can make a huge impact on the quality of your smile. We’ve rounded up the most common foods to avoid for whiter teeth, and how you can start to see results just by changing up what you reach for in the fridge or pantry.
Does Coffee and Tea Stain Your Teeth?
Hands down, this is one of the top culprits of discolored teeth.
If you’re a coffee and tea lover, you’re not alone. Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee every day!
Over time, large amounts of coffee and black tea can stain teeth. Coffee and tea contain tannins, which are known to causes staining in the enamel of your teeth by leaving a yellowish hue behind after drinking.
One way to get around this is drinking through a straw, as this reduces the contact the coffee or tea has with your teeth. You can also rinse with water after drinking tea or coffee, and brush after 30 minutes has passed. Because coffee is acidic, brushing your teeth immediately after will actually weaken your tooth enamel.
Like coffee, red wine can be a hard one to give up, too. When it comes to tooth-staining foods, the simple motto is if it would stain a white fabric, it will stain your teeth, too.
The acidic nature of red wine — as well as tannins and natural dyes — can leave your teeth slightly purple and brown.
If you enjoy a glass of wine in the evenings, there are a few ways to prevent stains. While switching to a white wine may seem like the obvious answer, white wine still contains sugars and is highly acidic, which can wear down your tooth enamel and contribute to stains over time.
One surprising tip is to brush your teeth before consuming wine. This prevents food particles from taking on the color of the wine.
Having a straw on hand is also never a bad idea, even if you feel a little silly drinking your wine out of a straw. Your teeth will thank you!
Tomatoes can be spectacular for your overall health, but they aren’t particularly great for your pearly whites.
As an acidic food, bright red sauces on your pasta can leave your teeth looking less vibrant.
A handy way to combat this is to pair your tomato sauces with plenty of vegetables, especially carrots, celery, and leafy greens that can help naturally clean plaque from your teeth. Once you’ve hit the 30-minute mark, go ahead and give your teeth a thorough brushing.
Soy Sauce and Balsamic Vinegar
You’ve probably noticed that these condiments can easily stain your clothes if you spill on them. The same thing happens to your teeth, so using these additions sparingly can help avoid stains on teeth.
We suggest drinking plenty of water while eating foods with soy sauce and vinegar to prevent them from sitting on your teeth for long periods of time.
Berries and Beets
While these foods are packed with nutrients and vitamins, they are notorious for staining your teeth when eaten in excess.
If you’re a fan of dark berries, a great way to decrease stains on your teeth is to mix them into a smoothie with milk or yogurt and drink it through a straw.
Not too many people complain about avoiding beets. But if you love these veggies, just try to limit them as their bright pink pigment can leave noticeable stains behind.
Carbonated Drinks and Soda
We’re sure you’ve heard plenty of reasons to cut soda (or pop depending on where you live) from your daily routine. It probably doesn’t come as much as a surprise that these drinks can stain your teeth as well.
When the sugar from these beverages mixes with the bacteria in your mouth, they not only lead to potential cavities but also form acid in your mouth that breaks down tooth enamel.
When it comes to drinks that stain teeth, this one is best to be avoided.
If a candy leaves your tongue a different color, you’d better be prepared for it to stain your teeth, too.
Hard candies, chewing gums, and lollipops all contain plenty of sugar and artificial coloring that leave teeth all sorts of colors after eating.
Cutting out candy might not be as hard as you think either, as today’s market provides many healthy alternatives to sweets that are healthier for your body and keep your teeth white.
Keeping Your Teeth White and Glowing
It might not always be easy to give up your favorite food to avoid stains on your teeth. But, there are plenty of easy workarounds and everyday solutions to keep your smile healthy and bright.
Ever tried whitening your teeth naturally? How about take-home whitening kits?
We’re happy to help you get the white smile you’ve always dreamed of, no matter how you choose to go about it.
Learn more about all the ways you can whiten your teeth this year >