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9 Foods and Drinks That Cause Teeth Stains

Most stain-promoting foods should not be banned from your diet, just taken in moderation—you don’t want to miss out on antioxidants, essential nutrients and other health benefits. Limiting your intake of stain-causing foods and drinks and practicing proper oral hygiene keep your teeth bright and healthy. Here are the top foods and beverages that promote teeth stains:

1. Red Wine. Red wine is not only acidic, it also has chromogens and tannins known to be aggressive teeth stainers.

2. White Wine. It may not seem like it, but white wine also promotes staining by other foods and beverages. One study found that teeth previously exposed to white wine were more susceptible to stains after exposure to tea.

3. Tea. Ordinary black tea is rich in tannins. Less aggressive stainers are green, white and herbal teas.

4. Soda. Carbonated drinks are acidic and rich in chromogens. Both dark and light-colored colas are acidic enough to destroy the enamel. They also promote teeth staining by other foods and drinks. People who drink soda all day get porous bones and cola-stained teeth.

5. Sports drinks. Some sports drinks are highly acidic. Acids soften the enamel and make it more vulnerable to staining and damage.

6. Sauces. Dark and deep-colored sauces like curry, tomato and soy sauce can cause staining. If it stains a white tablecloth, it will stain your teeth.

7. Berries. Bright-colored fruits like grapes, blueberries, pomegranates, cranberries, blackberries and cherries (including fruit drinks and pies) can stain teeth.

8. Sweets. Besides causing tooth decay, sweets like hard candies, popsicles and chewing gum often have coloring agents that can stain your pearly whites. How to tell if a sweet can stain? If it colors your tongue, it will also color your teeth. But you don’t have to quit cold turkey; just limit your intake.

9. Coffee. That big cup of java you love to savor in the morning has lots of chromogens. The good news is that it’s not as tannin-rich (and therefore not as aggressive a stainer) as black tea.

Besides proper oral hygiene, regular dental visits help teeth stains away. Contact us now to learn about options for a whiter, brighter smile.