8 Foods that Stain Your Teeth And How You Can Still Eat Them

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You might make fun of that woman at the coffee shop drinking her hot coffee through a straw, but we could all benefit from being more careful when it comes to consuming foods that stain our teeth. A smile is worth a thousand words, and you want to flash your pearly whites instead of flashing yellow and stained teeth. Your smile is probably one of the most attractive things about you, so you want to protect it. If your teeth get too yellow, you’ll stop smiling because you’ll feel self-conscious. You won’t come across as a positive person during your job interview or on a first date if you aren’t smiling, so let’s work on keeping those teeth white and polished.

Although it is true that you can pay for professional teeth whitening at 44 West Dental, it’s still smart to learn which foods will stain your teeth, and what to do if you love to eat these teeth-staining foods. Especially since you don’t want to ruin the beautiful results of that teeth whitening service after you paid to get it done.

Some of the foods in this list are obvious teeth-staining foods that you might already know to be careful with. Other foods in this list are foods you never thought would stain your teeth. Below are 8 foods (or drinks) that stain your teeth, and how you should change the way you eat them to keep your beautiful teeth white and polished:

1. Blueberries

It might surprise you that popping blueberries in your mouth can stain your teeth. When we eat these delicious berries, we don’t think of them as a teeth-staining food. That’s because we’re too busy praising them for being a superfood with a ton of health benefits. Now that you’re aware of the dark stains blueberries can leave behind on your teeth, there is a solution: After eating a handful of blueberries, simply swish some warm water around in your mouth to rinse off the residue.

2. Coffee

Coffee, especially when taken black, will stain your teeth – especially over time when you drink a cup a day. That girl drinking her coffee through a straw doesn’t look as weird now, right? Coffee is such a dark liquid that it’s only natural that it will yellow your teeth. Adding milk or cream to your coffee does help, since it lightens the color of the liquid – or get your straw handy.

3. Beets

It should be obvious that beets can stain your teeth, but you’d be surprised how many people never thought of this. When people enjoy beets in a salad or in a stew, they aren’t thinking that a consequence is teeth-staining. However, it should be obvious since beets stain everything they touch. Beets are packed with nutrients, and they’re very good for you, so you shouldn’t give them up. Simply try placing a bite at the back of your mouth, chewing at the back of your mouth, and rinsing with water after eating.

4. Red Wine

Similar to coffee, red wine is another dark liquid that can stain your teeth. Some red wines are quite thick, which means they will leave a thicker residue on your teeth that is stubborn to rinse off. If you try the trick of swishing water in your mouth to rinse it, know that you’ll have to swish quite vigorously to rinse a heavy-bodied red wine.

5. Pasta in Sauce

Pasta can stain your teeth if it’s covered in thick tomato sauce or another dark pasta sauce. The tomatoes in pasta sauce are a big culprit because of their acidity level, their bright red hue and their tendency to cling to the teeth. However, if you have a green salad as an appetizer, the dark green veggies in your salad will create a protective film over your teeth, which will help reduce the tomatoes’ staining power. If you really want to be careful, just choose a white pasta sauce instead.

6. Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice or other dark juices such as grape juice and pomegranate juice are big teeth-staining culprits. They are concentrated sources of dark pigments that leave a film on your teeth after you drink a cup. Drinking lighter colored juices will help keep your teeth white, and hey – Apple juice is pretty delicious, so will it really be that hard to switch?

7. Soy Sauce

How many of you love Chinese food? How about sushi? Well, be careful, because soy sauce can definitely stain teeth with its dark pigments. It’s so concentrated that it tends to leave a stubborn residue on the teeth. Rinse your mouth after eating if you choose to add soy sauce to dish, and try a dish as-is before you add the soy sauce. You may just find that the dish tastes great without soy sauce, and that you don’t need to add it.

8. Lemons

Many of you are probably very surprised that lemons are on the list. Lemons aren’t dark in hue, or pigmented, so why would they stain the teeth? The truth is, the acidity of those lemons can erode the tooth enamel, which might expose the yellow-hued dentin of your teeth. Watch out for other acidic foods for this reason – such as limes and citrus fruits.


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My Life, I Guess is a personal finance and lifestyle blog by Amanda, an older millennial from Ontario, Canada that strives to keep the "person" in personal finance by writing about money, mistakes, and making the most of whatever life throws at you.