Foods that Stain Teeth and Foods that Clean Teeth!
When you initially think of teeth stains, you may be quick to blame coffee or tobacco. However, even if you abstain from these notorious teeth-staining substances, you may still be consuming foods or beverages that can stain your smile. But you don’t have to avoid these substances! Making sure to swish with water or brush your teeth after eating can help you cut down on stains without depriving yourself.
Foods that Stain Teeth
Berries – Berries are great for your body because they provide plenty of antioxidants. However, they’re not always kind to your tooth enamel. Berries contain lots of chromogens and the dark colors of cranberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries can cause staining.
Balsamic Vinegar – The naturally dark color of balsamic vinegar will discolor the teeth if it isn't brushed away quickly. However, if you’re using balsamic vinegar as a salad topper, the lettuce will help clean the vinegar away as you munch it!
Tea – This may come as a surprise to many, but tea is more likely than coffee to cause the teeth to yellow. This is because tea (especially black tea) contains tannins. These are plant-based compounds that allow stains to more easily stick to teeth. Herbal and green teas have fewer tannins but still won’t eliminate all stains.
Red Wine – Like tea, red wine also contains tannins. However, red wine is also very acidic. Acidity aids in teeth staining because the acid softens the tooth enamel, allowing stains to more easily set in. While white wine may have less pigment, it’s even more acidic than red wine, meaning it can still cause stains.
Soda – Lastly, dark-colored sodas also contain chromogens, which can stain teeth. Soda is also highly acidic, eroding enamel and causing teeth to stain. If you can’t kick your soda habit, consider using straws, which will allow the beverage to bypass contact with the teeth.
Foods that Clean and Whiten Teeth
Some foods are able to neutralize the acid in wine or soda and can even clean the teeth as you eat. These foods include:
Milk and Hard Cheese
For more tips on keeping your smile healthy and stain-free, or to make an appointment for a dental cleaning and a checkup, please contact Meadows Family Dentistry here in Castle Rock, Colorado. We want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams!
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Dr. Preston Polson has been practicing dentistry for over 15 years. Dr. Polson received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Colorado and completed a one-year Hospital based General Practice Residency in Burlington, Vermont. Dr. Polson continues to receive advanced training in restorative, cosmetic, implant, and reconstructive dentistry in an effort to provide each patient with the highest quality dental care possible.