Have you ever noticed after a red popsicle or a blue sucker that your teeth or tongue are stained? There are many foods and beverages we consume each day that can stain our teeth over time. We asked our assistant, Jamie, to list a few below:
- Although known as healthy beverages, black tea and red wine’s high tannin content (a compound found in plants that reacts with the proteins in your teeth) can stain your teeth even more than coffee!
- Another healthy item, deep colored fruits (i.e. blueberries, blackberries, cherries, and pomegranates) that have long been used for dyes in many cultures, can cause staining when consumed frequently.
- Coffee, as you may already know, is a key culprit of staining that causes browning or yellowing over time.
- Candy (i.e. freeze pops, jolly ranchers, and other candies that stain your tongue) may contain dye that can adhere to the surface of your enamel.
- Dark colored colas, like Pepsi and Dr. Pepper, can stain your teeth if you are a frequent cola drinker. Not only do your teeth absorb the dark compounds over time, they also react to the acid in colas that weaken your enamel.
These are just a few of the many foods and beverages that can cause color changes in our teeth, but what can we do to limit this staining? Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
- Drink through a straw so the liquids do not submerge your teeth.
- Brush, floss, and rinse your mouth after eating or drinking. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, chew on a piece of sugarless gum.
- Limit consumption of these foods and beverages.
- See your hygienist for regular dental cleanings. Many stains can be removed at you dental office.
Are your teeth already stained? Consider professional dental whitening to get your bright, white smile back!
Learn more about surprising foods that may harm your teeth here.