Tooth Discoloration: 10 Foods That Stain Teeth and How to Avoid It
If you are dealing with stained teeth, it could be the foods that you are eating. Here are the 10 top foods that stain teeth and how you can avoid it happening.
According to the American Dental Association, 1 out of every 4 adults are embarrassed to smile because of the appearance of their teeth. And nearly 1 in 5 adults have anxiety because of the appearance of their smile.
Many people may be embarrassed if their teeth are stained or discolored. If you're dealing with stained teeth, it could be the foods that you're eating. In fact, many of your favorite food and drinks could be the culprit.
Want to learn more? Keep reading for the top 10 foods that stain teeth and what you can do to avoid teeth discoloration.
Types of Teeth Discoloration
There are three reasons why your teeth become stained:
Intrinsic stains occur when the dentin - the inner part of the tooth - becomes discolored. An example of this would be trauma to the tooth, which results in internal bleeding and discoloration. It could also occur if you received much fluoride at a young age.
Extrinsic staining happens when the enamel, the outer part of the tooth, becomes discolored. This is from stain-causing drinks and food. Extrinsic stains can also come from smoking.
Age-related staining happens from both intrinsic and extrinsic reasons.
Over time, dentin becomes more yellow as you age. Your enamel also becomes thinner which shows more of the dentin. This is in addition to all the food and drinks that you consume which contribute to teeth stains.
Top Foods That Stain Teeth
Let's see the top 10 foods that stain teeth.
Your teeth are porous. When you brush your teeth in the morning and then drink coffee right after, your teeth absorb the coffee and stains in the process.
Black coffee stains the most. You can add milk or creamer to lighten the coffee and reduce teeth discoloration.
Tea can stain your teeth more than coffee can. This is because tea contains tannins and other compounds such as theaflavins and thearubigins which contribute to discoloration. What's more, green tea may have the most tannins.
The stronger the tea brew, the more stains they can cause.
Both red and white wine can cause stains. This is because they both contain acid. White wine actually has more acid than red.
Unfortunately, acid is bad for your teeth. It can eat away at calcium and phosphate in your teeth. This results in thinner enamel and an increased risk of tooth decay and sensitivity. This can also lead to teeth discoloration.
4. Tomato Sauce
Dark, red, tomato-based sauces can stain your teeth. You can opt for creamier, light-colored sauces.
Or, if you don't want to miss out on the vitamins and health benefits of tomatoes, you can eat a salad prior to your main meal. The greens in the salad help protect your teeth from stains by coating them with a film.
5. Carbonated Drinks
There are multiple reasons to ditch soda, but now here's another. The acid and sugar stain your teeth. The best alternative is to skip the soda and replace with water.
Many darker berries such as blueberries and cherries can stain teeth. Other fruits with dark hues include pomegranates and blackberries.
These fruits are also rich in antioxidants and are good for you. You can mix them with yogurt or milk and drink as a smoothie.
7. Citrus Fruits
The acid from citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons can make dental enamel weaker, which can show stains more easily.
8. Balsamic Vinegar
The dark hue of balsamic vinegar can also result in teeth discoloration. Balsamic vinegar also has a lot of acids.
Yet another reason to cut back on the sugar. All that sugar results in more acid in your mouth which contributes to staining.
10. Soy Sauce
Since soy sauce is so concentrated, it can stain your teeth. Don't use too much when cooking or eating out.
Ways to Avoid Staining Teeth
You don't have to give up all the items on this list to avoid staining your teeth. Here are some things you can do to keep your teeth shining brightly.
Rinse and Brush After
After drinking liquids that can stain your teeth such as coffee or tea, you should rinse your mouth with water to wash out the liquids. You should also brush your teeth after every meal to avoid food stains.
If you consumed an acidic food or drink, you should wait about an hour before brushing your teeth. Your saliva has enzymes that prevent some of the acidic damage.
Use a Straw
Another tip is to drink with a straw. This can prevent darker liquids from reaching your teeth.
Don't Let Drinks Linger
When drinking drinks and eating foods, don't let them sit in your mouth for too long. Of course, you do want to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing.
When it comes to drinks such as fruit juices, you don't want all that sugar and acid to swish around your mouth.
Avoid Some Food That Stains
There are some foods that you should cut out of your diet for health reasons and to avoid teeth stains. For example, you can cut out soda and candy. Your body will thank you for cutting back on the sugar and acid
Choose Non-Staining Alternatives
You can try adding foods that are good for your teeth to your diet. Some super foods for your teeth include celery which is high in fiber and contains antioxidants. You can also eat yogurt which has plenty of calcium.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Now that you know about foods that stain teeth, another thing you can do to avoid teeth discoloration is to visit a dentist regularly. Regular teeth exams and cleanings can remove surface stains and keep your teeth healthy.
Want to learn more about how to protect your teeth from stains and discoloration? Make an appointment at our office today.