We all desire a beautiful smile with shiny white teeth. “Smile for the camera!” But does the thought of showing your teeth make you self-conscious? If you practice good oral hygiene habits, yet still have a dull or discolored smile, you may be frustrated and wondering why. The truth is, the foods and drinks you eat and drink could be the culprit!

How Do We Lose Our Bright White Teeth?

Tooth enamel is very porous. It is full of minute spaces or holes that allow liquid or air to pass through the enamel and get to the heart of the tooth. When colors get through the enamel they can dull and stain your teeth.

There are certain compounds in foods and drink called tannins. Tannins are yellowish or brownish, bitter-tasting organic substances consisting of derivatives of gallic acid. These tannins make the color of your food and drink stick to your tooth enamel. Foods that stain your white clothing and wont easily come off in the wash are the same things that stain your white tooth enamel and don’t come off easily with toothbrushing.

Besides tannins, many foods and drinks are acidic. This acid weakens the surface of the enamel and make it even more porous and more vulnerable to stains

What Causes Stains

There are many foods and drinks that are more likely to stain your teeth. Many of them are common and you probably are aware of their staining power:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Red Wine
  • Sport Drinks
  • Fruit Juices
  • Slushies
  • Popsicles
  • Berries

There are other foods and drinks that are not quite so commonly known, but definitely can stain your teeth!

  • Soy Sauce
  • Pasta/ Tomato Sauce

Bonus Tip! Eat a crisp fresh salad before eating your delicious pasta. They will create a film over your teeth to help protect them from staining!

  • Beets
  • Curry

Bonus Tip! If you are indulging in food with curry, accompany it with apples, carrots, celery, or cucumber. These are stain preventers!

What Can You Do to Keep White Teeth?

Many of these foods and drinks are full of nutrients and healthy to consume. While some of these foods have good health benefits and are common in your regular diet, they do cause stains in usually white teeth if eaten in excess. Keep this in mind next time you decide to sit down with a glass of red wine. The good news is, you don’t have to give up these foods all together – there are certain things you can do to counter the effects.

  • Brush as soon as possible after consuming these staining foods and drinks.
  • If brushing is not possible, at least rinse well with plenty of water.
  • Use a straw to keep the staining colors farther away from your teeth.
  • Use whitening toothpaste regularly.
  • See your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups!

Foods that Whiten!

There are some foods that can actually act as natural whiteners! Some of these foods are apples, spinach, broccoli, celery, pineapple and even strawberries. The most effective is cheese, because it counteracts with acidic foods and helps the pH level in your mouth.

If you need to talk to a dentist or want to have a professional whitening done, visit us to get the best treatment for your oral health. Cal for an appointment. 317-745-4400

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Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.