Teeth-staining Food and Drinks to Avoid

Food and Drinks

We all like to indulge in the foods that we enjoy, but we want our teeth to be healthy and attractive as well. Do you know what foods and drinks are likely to erode your tooth enamel and leave stains? A good rule of thumb is that if it can stain your clothes or the tablecloth, it can stain your teeth. Similarly, if it turns your tongue different colors, it will likely discolor and stain your teeth as well. If you are concerned with keeping your teeth white and sparkling, here is a list of stain-causers to be wary of.


A glass of wine can be good for your oral health and your overall well-being, but it can also cause stains to your teeth due to its deep red color and tannins. To reduce the stains, try to rinse your mouth by drinking water after sipping on wine.


Dark sauces can add flavor to your food, but they can also add unwanted stains to your teeth. Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and marinara sauces are just a few examples of condiments that will cause discoloration of your teeth. Whenever possible, stick with lighter vinegars, lemon zests, or white sauces to minimize the staining.


Dark-colored and vibrant berries taste great and look pretty, but these tasty fruits can wreak havoc on the color of your teeth. Other foods and juices containing these berries such as pie can also stain your teeth.


Colored sodas have the ability to severely discolor your teeth. Acids in soda can erode the enamel within seconds and the dark soda stains your teeth while the sugars cause tooth decay. Diet sodas don’t pose any less risk as they are highly acidic and stain teeth just as much as regular soda. Light-colored sodas can also promote staining by eating away at the enamel and making it easier for other foods to cause stains.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee is acidic and dark in color which is the perfect combination for sticking to tooth enamel and staining your teeth. Adding milk can lessen the staining power of coffee. Similarly, dark teas have an even greater staining ability than coffee because of its tannins, learn more about coffees which are light and does not stain your teeth. Drinking green, white, or other light herbal teas can help keep your teeth whiter.

Many of the foods and drinks on this list are actually healthy for your body; just be sure to consume them in moderation in order to protect your teeth from stains. Some other tips are to use a straw when possible if you are drinking any of these beverages and to swallow quickly instead of letting stain-causing liquids linger on your teeth. If you have any questions about stain causing foods or teeth whitening services, feel free to contact our office at Smiles in Shelby.

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