What foods stain your teeth and how can you minimize the damage?
Lots of foods stain your teeth. Some on the list below will be familiar; others may surprise you.
Foods with intense pigment stick to the enamel on your teeth. That means blackberries, blueberries, cherries and other brightly colored fruits—and juices and pies made from them—can stain your teeth.
Much has been made about the health properties of tea, but it can cause more stains to tooth enamel than coffee. Black tea is the worst offender, but recent studies have found herbal and white teas can erode enamel and stain teeth.
Sauces with deep color, such as tomato, soy and curry, can dim your pearly whites.
The tannins in red wine can leave you with tooth discoloration. White wine, the more acidic of the two, can also lead to stains.
Soft drinks contain acid that can cause major staining of your teeth. You won’t get a break from light-colored sodas. Many of these contain enough acid that they can leave your enamel primed for staining by other foods and drinks.
If you won’t want to give up your cherry pie and soy sauce, what can you do to avoid stains?
Rinse your mouth with water immediately after eating foods that stain. Then brush your teeth. If brushing isn’t possible, chew sugarless gum after your meal.
Sip your soda (and other beverages) through a straw. This keeps the stain-causing ingredients away from your teeth.
Don’t keep stain-causing foods in your mouth. Chew well, and then swallow quickly.