Five Foods & Beverages That Stain Your Teeth

When it comes to maintaining a white, vibrant smile, the importance of dental hygiene can’t be overstated.  Brushing and flossing at least twice daily, as well maintaining regular visits to your dentist for cleanings, will always be the deciding factor as to whether or not your teeth will maintain that white, aesthetic appearance.  However, as much as we do to try and clean our teeth, studies have shown that the regular consumption of certain foods and drinks can still leave their mark on your teeth in the form of staining and discolouration.  Prolonged staining of the teeth may become permanent, and the only method of removal is through the use of professional tooth whitening procedures, which can be quite costly.  Below is a list of five foods that are known to stain your teeth.



Things like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries have long been recommended by doctors and health professionals alike.  And rightfully so.  They’re low in calories, high in antioxidants and phytochemicals, high in fibre, and chock full of vitamins and minerals.  However, these healthy little critters are also high in an element called chromogens.  Chromogens are substances that can easily convert into coloured compounds.  Other fruits such as grapes and pomegranates’ contain chromogens.


Coffee and Tea

Along with water, coffee and tea are the most commonly consumed beverages in the world.  Some of us just can’t make it through our day without at least one cup of coffee to jump start our day first thing in the morning.  Coffee and tea are probably also two of the worst offenders when it comes to staining teeth.  Coffee and tea cause discolouration of the teeth, and due to their high acid content, they also erode tooth enamel, which leaves teeth even more susceptible to discolouration.


Red Wine

Red wine has gained popularity in recent years, as research has found that moderate consumption of red wine (1-2 glasses daily) can actually be beneficial for our health.  But while the occasional glass of wine may not be hazardous to our health, it’s certainly not the best choice for maintaining a white, radiant smile.  Like coffee, red wine is very acidic, and also high in tannins, another substance known to cause teeth staining.  And for those thinking of opting for white wine over red in order to spare their teeth, not so fast; white wine is actually more acidic than red, which increases the risk of teeth staining from other foods.


Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes have a high acid content, and they also have a dark red pigment which when combined with the high acid content, make them a big culprit in the teeth staining game.  Tomatoes also contain tannins, which makes it easier for the stains to set in.



Okay, while cigarettes are technically neither a food nor a beverage, they certainly make for a worthy inclusion on this list due to their teeth-staining ability.  As if you needed any more reasons not to smoke cigarettes, here’s another:  The nicotine and tobacco contained in cigarettes is notoriously bad for teeth, and causes them to turn yellow and decay with prolonged and excessive use.  So on top of your lungs and overall health thanking you, your teeth will also benefit from quitting smoking.

So does this mean that you need to eliminate your blueberries, your tomato sauce on your pasta, or your nightly glass of red wine to relax after a long day?  Absolutely not!  There are tips you can do to help minimize the stains from the foods listed above such as brushing and flossing regularly, using a straw to drink, and rinsing your mouth with water after having consuming these foods and beverages.  Getting regular cleanings is also extremely beneficial.  For residents of the North York area, be sure to contact Lee Dental Associates to find out more about our services.

Lee Dental Associates is proud to offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dental procedures for adults and children.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply