6 Foods That Can Stain Teeth

We all want bright, white smiles but while whitening your teeth is an effective step, it also helps to avoid foods that stain teeth in the first place. It’s very important to avoid these foods immediately after a whitening treatment; the bleaching process makes teeth extra sensible. Below is a list of foods and beverages that can dim your smile.


1. Black Coffee

A cup of coffee is one of the worst stain offenders. The outer layer of the tooth is very porous, meaning foods and liquids are absorbed — and stay there. But you don’t have to go without it — try adding a splash of milk to neutralize that.

2. Tea

You might think tea would be a better option than coffee, but because of its tannins, it’s a teeth stainer, too. The good news is that some varieties are better than others. Avoid darker-colored teas, like English Breakfast and Earl Grey. Instead, opt for green, white, and herbal teas. Because they’re lighter in color, they won’t stain your teeth as much.

3. Red Wine

It may be good for your heart, but red wine is bad for your smile. If you’ve ever looked in the mirror and smiled after sipping a glass of Shiraz or cabernet sauvignon, you’ve seen the results. On the upside, studies have shown that wine reduces inflammation, which can help reduce or prevent gum disease.

4. Cola

Dark sodas, including diet, are especially harmful to teeth because of their staining color. The temperature of soda can also be a factor because very cold (as well as very hot) temperatures cause teeth to contract, which makes them more porous and easier to stain.

5. Soy Sauce

It’s not just dark beverages that will stain your teeth — dark liquids used to flavor foods, such as soy sauce, can produce the same effect. A general rule to follow is that if a food can stain your carpet or T-shirt, it can stain your teeth too.

6. Blueberries

One of nature’s superfoods, blueberries are packed with antioxidants. The only downside is that the dark blue skins stain teeth.


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