What Foods Stain Teeth

What Foods and Drinks Stain Teeth?

Foods and drinks that stain teethEveryone wants to have nice clean white teeth. We already know that we need to use a good toothpaste and floss at least twice a day and also see the dentist every 6 months for a check-up and maybe a hygienist clean.

But Dental hygienists also recommend we should be aware of the foods and drinks we consume as these can stain teeth.

A simple rule of thumb to go by is if the food or drink is brightly coloured then it is likely to stain your teeth. The brighter the colour the more it will stain you teeth. So says Dr Richards of the North American Dental Association.

Brightly coloured foods contain Chromogens. These are strongly pigmented molecules that latch on to the enamel on our teeth. It’s not only Chromogens that cause discolouration. Acidity is another culprit you need to be wary off.

Acidity foods can erode the teeth enamel and make it easier for Chromogens to latch on. 

And lastly food compounds known as tannins increases staining by enhancing the Chromogens ability to fasten to enamel.

The Top Teeth Staining Foods and drinks:

1. Red and White wines. These are one of the worse staining culprits. These contain both Chromogens and tannins.York University School of Dentistry also found that teeth were stained far worse by tea if drank shortly after being exposed to wine. So if you are fond of a late tea after you have been drinking wine, then you might want to reconsider.

2. Tea is rich in stain-promoting tannins. Dentists say it is worse than coffee for staining teeth, which is high in Chromogens, but low in tannins. “Tea’s very aggressive,” says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, director of New Orleans Dentistry. But herbal and green tea are less likely to cause staining.  

3. Cola. This is very rich in both Chromogens and Acids and can cause substantial staining to teeth and enamel erosion. Even less coloured soft beverages can cause similar effects. Carbonated drinks have similar acidic properties as battery acid. So if you are a heavy coke drinker or drinks lots of soft fizzy drinks you should swap for less harmful beverages such as mineral watered drinks.

4. Sports drinks. These have the same effects as Coke, so only have in moderation and it’s a good idea to swash your mouth with water after drinking such acidic drinks.

5. Berries. All brightly coloured berries will cause your teeth to stain. This includes the drinks that are made from these berries.

6. Sauces. Any highly coloured sauces such as Soy sauce, tomato sauce and curry powders will stain your teeth.

7. Sweets. Most sweets and candies are made with some sort of colouring agent and this will also have a colouring effect on your teeth. So once again you should only have in moderation. A good rule of thumb to use again is if your tongue goes a funny colour, you teeth will also be slightly coloured.

A very simple and effective preventive messure to prevent staining your teeth from all these food items is to swash your mouth with warm water after any consumption of these items.

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