6 Foods That Can Discolor Your Teeth the Most
A bright, white smile is something we all covet -- and that’s no surprise, considering how much our teeth affect our overall appearance and, beyond that, our confidence. In fact, a recent study found that people with whiter teeth are perceived to be more attractive, confident, trustworthy and financially successful than their peers. In short, there’s a real motivation to achieving a bright, white smile -- but there are also plenty of deterrents to achieving that dazzling look and feel.
While proper oral hygiene -- flossing daily and brushing twice-day, for starters -- is invaluable for maintaining a healthy, vibrant smile, there’s more to it than just maintenance. To stay white and bright, you need to watch what you’re eating and drinking so you can avoid yellowing, stains and long term discoloration. Avoiding these six foods and drinks is a good jumping-off point.
Can’t start your day without a cup of coffee? You’re not alone -- but, unfortunately, your favorite morning fix is packed full of tannins (AKA acidic polyphenols) that cause stains and yellow teeth. Also, due to the acidity, coffee changes the pH of your mouth, making other acidic food and drinks you consume throughout the day even more damaging. Can’t forgo java? Try sipping through a straw.
Sugary beverages like soda encourage bacteria to grow inside your mouth, a process that releases acid that can damage teeth and make them susceptible to stains. Carbonated beverages are especially bad because they’re also acidic -- even sugar-free varieties can be
Raspberries, blueberries, pomegranates and other berries are packed full of antioxidants, but they also contain rich pigmented juices capable of staining your teeth. The effects are the same, whether you eat them fresh or in processed foods like jam, so follow up with an acid neutralizing treat, like a glass of milk or a bit of hard cheese.
4. Sugary Treats
There’s some truth to what Grandma always said -- sugar can rot your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth feed off sugar and, in the process, release acids that damage teeth and cause dark spots and other forms of decay.
The same tannins that give tea and coffee their staining power are also found in wine! Wine, like your other favs, is also acidic and causes enamel erosion. Think white wine is better? Not so much – it’s still chock full of acid.
Citrus foods are highly acidic and break down enamel, exposing the dentin and increasing the risk of staining and yellowing. Even brushing after can be problematic -- your teeth may already be weakened from the acid, making brushing and flossing more damaging than helpful.
Arming yourself with the knowledge featured here is the first step to fending off stains and yellowing. Don’t worry though -- there’s no need to cut out all your favorite foods. Instead, eat and drink acidic, highly pigmented foods and drinks like these in moderation, use straws or a lid and don’t let them linger in your mouth for too long.