foods that stain your teeth

Foods That Can Stain Your Teeth

Brighter smiles are more than picture-perfect. Research shows people with whiter teeth are actually perceived as smarter and more socially competent. Those pearly whites can lead to more success in both your personal and professional life. Even if you have a flawless dental routine, what you put into your mouth can still stain your teeth.

We’ve put together a list of some of the biggest smile-staining offenders. If you can limit these items to every other day (and keep up with your brushing and flossing), you can keep your smile sparkling.




Coffee mug

We’ve heard it countless times: coffee can stain your smile. That’s because coffee contains tannins, which lead to discoloration and staining. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t willing to cut back (much less give it up). Consider drinking your coffee with a to-go lid, to reduce some of the acid created in your mouth.


Who doesn’t love a rich pasta or curry? While deeply colored sauces like tomato, soy and curries can add a lot of flavor to a meal, they can also stain your teeth. When possible, opt for light-colored, cream-based sauces. When you just can’t resist, try to limit your dark sauces to every other day at the most.


green and black tea


While both green and black tea contain catechin—a natural antioxidant that helps fight gingivitis—some dentists claim tea can stain those pearly whites even more than coffee. Green tea gives your teeth a gray hue, and black tea turns them yellow. Some research suggests that adding milk to your tea can prevent some of the staining.



While colorful berries like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants that can prevent pathogens from attaching to your teeth, they can also stain your smile. Limit your intake, or consider an alternative like strawberries. You might be surprised to learn strawberries can actually make your teeth whiter thanks to malic acid, a natural enamel whitener.


white wine

There’s no denying red wine’s power to dim a bright smile, but did you know white wine can also stain your teeth? White wine is often more acidic than red wine, too, which means it can erode your enamel. If you just can’t go without your wine (red or white), pair it with cheese to cut down on some of the acidity.


When it comes to pairing your smile with sodas and carbonated beverages, you really shouldn’t. Not only do the chemicals erode your enamel, but the acids and dyes can also stain your smile (even if you’re drinking light-colored sodas). If you must drink, use a straw.

Cutting back doesn’t mean cutting out

While all of these foods and beverage can stain your teeth, many of them are still good for both your health and your smile. You don’t have to say goodbye to mom’s spaghetti sauce or your favorite local coffee shop. Just don’t overdo it. And if you can’t give up your iced tea at lunch, then sip it through a straw. Then, when you finish eating or drinking, rinse your mouth with water.

At SmileDirectClub, we don’t just want to help you get a straighter smile, we want to make your pearly whites even brighter. That’s why we include complimentary bright on™ premium teeth whitening as a part of our evaluation kit purchase. Get started on your smile transformation today!

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