Your Diet and the Color of Your Teeth


You’ve probably heard that too many sweets can be bad for your teeth. However, the connection between diet and oral health runs much deeper. What you consume can impact many aspects of your smile, including the color of your teeth. Certain foods and beverages can cause unsightly stains and discoloration on your teeth that can affect your confidence. The good news is that most tooth staining can be avoided with some simple tips.

Top Foods and Drinks That Cause Tooth Discoloration

So, what foods and beverages are the biggest culprits for tooth-staining and discoloration? Here we’ve compiled a list of the top offenders.

1. Coffee

Many people start their day off with a cup of coffee, but your morning brew may be responsible for staining your pearly whites. Coffee contains chemical compounds known as tannins which can cause color compounds to adhere to the teeth. This results in brownish staining on the teeth.

2. Red Wine

Some adults often wind down in the evenings with a glass of red wine. What makes red wine problematic is that it’s highly acidic and can roughen up the pores on tooth enamel. The color compounds in red wine can then become etched to the tooth surface, resulting in dark staining.

3. Berries

Blueberries, blackberries, and other dark-colored berries contain pigmentation that can cause tooth staining. People with a higher porosity are more likely to experience staining from deep-colored fruits or fruit juices.

4. Sauces

Certain types of sauces have been found to cause tooth discoloration, such as tomato-based sauces that are bright in color and highly acidic. Balsamic vinegar and soy sauce are also common contributors to tooth stains.

5. Colas

Colas and other dark-colored sodas can cause your teeth to become discolored. This is especially true if you have a tendency to sip on sodas throughout the day. Soda is also highly acidic and can cause erosion of your tooth enamel. When eroded, enamel makes the teeth more susceptible to staining.

6. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks and energy drinks may also be causing stains on your teeth. Both types of beverages have been connected with the breakdown of tooth enamel, which can cause a person to become more susceptible to tooth staining.

Ways to Reduce Tooth Staining and Discoloration

There are many simple ways that you can reduce or prevent tooth staining and discoloration. Here are some quick tips:

  • Brush after each meal. Brushing and flossing regularly helps to keep teeth clean and prevents food particles from sitting on the tooth surface too long.
  • Rinse your mouth often. If you’re not able to brush after each meal, rinse your mouth with plain water to help neutralize any acids and rinse away food particles.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash. If you haven’t already, make the switch to an antibacterial mouthwash will help destroy stain-causing bacteria.
  • Upgrade to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes tend to do a better job at removing plaque compared to manual toothbrushes.
  • Clean with a whitening toothpaste. There are many whitening toothpastes on the market that help to gradually and gently whiten teeth over time.
  • Drink beverages through a straw. If you are drinking anything but water, drink it through a straw to help bypass your teeth.
  • Avoid aggressive brushing. Brushing your teeth too aggressively can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away. Clean your teeth gently instead.
  • Speak with your dentist about tooth whitening procedures, such as in-office procedures or traditional take-home trays. Professional tooth whitening is safe and can whiten your teeth up to eight shades.

Contact Bonham Dental Arts

The color of your teeth reflects your overall dental health and wellness. The foods and beverages you consume can wreak havoc on your smile, often causing yellow or brown stains that can be difficult to remove. To learn more about the connection between your diet and oral health, or to speak with our Largo, FL dentist about tooth whitening options, contact Bonham Dental Arts today.