Foods That Stain Your Teeth

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Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Let’s get the facts straight, stains in your teeth does not dictate a verdict about your dental structure, however, it can lead to oral health issues like periodontal problems.

The type of discoloration you will get with food is extrinsic, this means it will only affect the outer layer of the tooth called enamel that plays a very important role to avoid tooth decay.

The texture of the teeth themselves allows the pigments of your food and beverages to incorporate to the enamel, our natural barrier that gives our smile the actual coloration.

Watch what you eat and drink because, remember, if it can stain your white t-shirt, it can stain your teeth.


If you are an Indian food lover, you will have to reconsider your relationship with this type of cuisine if you want to keep your teeth bright & white.

Curry is a common powder used in Indian food to spice up this south Asian dishes. While this blend of spices claims to have a large range of health benefits such as fighting cancer and combat Alzheimer, it can be harmful to your teeth.

How something natural can mess up your enamel? When eaten frequently, the deep pigmentation of the powder can turn yellow your teeth over time. Maybe not totally yellow like a lemon but the will likely lose their whiteness.

To prevent this stains when you dine curry-spiced food, try to eat high fiber fruits and veggies such as apples, pears, broccoli, carrots and celeries. This fiber will help to generate more saliva and also to neutralize the level of the acids that cooperate to stain your teeth.

Pasta Sauce

We bet you didn’t know your favorite Italian food like spaghetti or pizza can stain your teeth. But don’t hurry to go and search the last piece to throw it in the trash.

The tooth staining is produced by the tomatoes, not the sauce by itself. The acids and red hue of this fruit can discolored teeth. When cooked to make a sauce, the tomatoes become rich in chromogens.

Chromogen is a chemical term applied to colorless or weakly colored substance found in organic fluids which can be transformed into colored compounds. The acids in the tomatoes will also leave your teeth exposed to further discoloration.


Berries are famous for their antioxidant properties but are less known for their potential to stain the teeth of those who like to eat it or drink  it regularly.

Their high acidic level of these fruits can cause enamel to become softer after hitting your teeth so stains can attach easier.

Every fruit that ends with “berry” like strawberry, blueberry and raspberry are high in chromogens. You can find them in pomegranates, cherries, and grapes too.

So you might want to change your regular berry smoothie or cheerios with blueberries for a yogurt with almonds which are rich in calcium and protein while being low in sugar.

Red Wine

Oh! so good and so difficult to wash off from the clothes and your teeth.

Imagine going to a date with a person you like. He or she invites you to a fancy dinner and order a bottle of red wine. You make a toast with that person and drink it to thru the night.

After finishing the bottle, you go to the bathroom and see yourself in the mirror just to find out you had a red purple-ish smile all night. What an embarrassment!

This happens because of the plaque in your teeth. A New York City dentists say that the stains you can perceive after drinking wine, are actually the red liquid adhered to that plaque.

The best-kept secret among event planners and etiquette teachers is to drink a glass of sparkling water right after your glass of Merlot or Pinot Noir. The effervescence will help to dispel the red wine pigment.

If you don’t have sparkling water near you or you not consider yourself a fan of the flavor,  a piece of cheese will help with this issue. The cheese will build a calcium wall which will close the micropores of the teeth so this classic stainer can’t be trapped in those microscopic holes.


Sadly, your drinkable alarm clock of the mornings can stain your teeth. The dark pigments of the coffee will work just like the pigments of wine, they will get stuck between the tiny gaps of the enamel.

Even though the coffee is black, if you drink it religiously every day, over time the outer layer of your teeth will get damaged causing discoloration or yellow stains which will lead to brightness fading of your smile.

What if I put creamer or milk in my coffee? That makes it less pigmented, right? Yes, but only for your eyes because the pigments an acids still remain the same and your teeth can still be spotted.

Some people like to join their cup of coffee with a good tobacco. Whether you chew it or smoke it, the substances of the cigarette mixed with the ones of the coffee make it worse for the color of your teeth.

How can I prevent the stains?

The only way to not get stains in your teeth is by avoiding all these foods we mentioned before, but if you are not prepared to give up to your morning coffee or that bolognese spaghetti, we have other alternatives.

The experts recommend to rinse your mouth right after any food that can stain your teeth and wait 30 minutes to 1 hour before brushing your teeth.

If your stains are very stubborn, ask your dentist for a white cleaning. Here at Serena Family and Cosmetic Dentistry we can give you a professional service to make your smile whiter and brighter.

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