6 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Tooth enamel is absorbent, which is why teeth are susceptible to becoming stained. As time passes, the teeth absorb the color from certain foods. These stains can cause the teeth to have a brown or yellow undertone. Acidic foods can wear away and temporarily softening the teeth; thus, making teeth more prone to become stained. The colors in food come from intensely pigmented molecules called chromogens: These molecules can easily adhere to the tooth’s enamel. Furthermore, food compounds (tannins) that are found in a variety of foods, including smoked foods, citrus fruits and legumes assist the chromogens by making it easier for them to attach to the enamel.

Any food that has the potential to leave a permanent stain on carpets or clothing can probably discolor the teeth. Extremely cold or hot food can also be harmful to the teeth because it can cause the teeth to contract or expand; therefore, making it even easier for stains to infiltrate the enamel.

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6 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

1. Tomato Based Foods and Condiments

Ketchup and tomato sauce can stain the teeth because tomatoes are a brightly colored, acidic fruit. Although nothing prevents the adherence of stains altogether, prior to consuming a tomato based food, eat broccoli or lettuce. These vegetables can help form a protective layer on the teeth; thus, limiting the amount of staining the fruit will cause.

2. Dark Liquids Added to Food – Soy Sauce, Dressings and Balsamic Vinegar

Darker liquids that are added to food (especially acidic liquids) can cause the teeth to become stained. Instead of using dark liquids, choose lighter condiments like rice vinegar.

3. Berries

Although colorful berries are full of antioxidants, their dark colored skins can stain the teeth. These berries include: raspberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates.

4. The Indian Spice Curry

Curry is generally yellow; however, it can also be red. The spice’s natural coloring is known to cause stains on the teeth. The best way to limit the amount of staining that curry can do is to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth directly after consumption.

5. Beets

Whether beets are consumed as a juice or in solid form, they frequently cause stains on the teeth. Juice is usually even more concerning because the beet is in a concentrated form. To limit the ability of the beet’s coloring to stain your teeth, brush your teeth within 60 minutes of consumption.

6. Popsicles, Gum and Candy

Gum, hard candy and Popsicles all contain colorants that can become embedded in the enamel. Choosing sugar free gum that does not have artificial colors is a healthier alternative. When choosing hard candy or Popsicles, avoid berry flavors and choose light colored flavors instead (e.g.,lemon, pineapple or banana).

If you notice that your smile is not as bright as you would like it to be, contact Espinal & Willis – Carolinas Center for Advanced Dentistry today. Let us help you rejuvenate your smile.


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Contact Espinal & Willis – Carolinas Center for Advanced Dentistry today to schedule your dental cleaning and checkup. We look forward to serving you. Call us at 803.327.4166 today!

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