We all know coffee, tea and red wine can significantly stain our pearly whites. Don’t worry – far be it from me to ask you to give up your morning joe or favorite vintage! Instead, let’s investigate how to minimize their impact, and take a look at other foods and drinks you never suspected were sabotaging your brilliant smile.
Because of their acidity and bright red hue, tomatoes in pasta sauce, soup and ketchup can leave your teeth vulnerable to staining. Chowing down on dark green veggies beforehand (like broccoli, kale and spinach), creates a protective film over the teeth and can ward off tomatoes’ staining effect. Definitely opt for that green salad!
Curry is amazing in Indian food and exotic dishes, but its deep pigmentation can yellow teeth over time. When you dine on curry-spiced food, mix in stain-preventing fresh fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, cauliflower and celery.
Balsamic vinegar is quite healthy, but it can also darken your teeth. The dark natural color of other condiments like soy sauce can stick to your teeth and also cause staining if it’s not quickly brushed away. Whenever you use dark sauces in a meal, be sure to include a crunchy lettuce to help fight staining.
Fruit Juices and Berries
Berries provide health benefits, such as antioxidants, but they also have strong staining potential, regardless of whether they’re eaten whole, drunk as juice or processed as jelly and jam. Fruit’s high sugar content is also no friend of tooth enamel. Don’t let them linger in your mouth for too long. Drink lots of water after eating.
The following popular beverages stain teeth and eat away at tooth enamel. Drink in moderation:
While dark sodas get a bad rap for discoloring teeth, clear sodas with their high sugar content are not a better choice.
Teas of all colors – even white teas – are culprits.
Sports drinks’ high sugar content and bright fluorescent colors make a terrible combo for oral health.
White wine is actually more acidic than red, leading to damage and discoloration.
Hard Candies and Popsicles
While it’s cool to see your tongue turn into a rainbow, prolonged sucking puts your teeth’s surfaces in direct contact with sugar, acid and dye –which cause decay and discoloration.
FIGHT THE STAIN
Protect your teeth from sugary and acidic food and beverages by:
Drinking lots of water during and after meals to wash away food particles
Using a straw when drinking cold sodas and other “staining” beverages
Brushing and flossing your teeth after meals to prevent stains from setting in
Using whitening toothpaste to help remove stains
Scheduling regular teeth cleanings and check-ups to keep your smile at its brightest