Foods that can stain your teeth
Keeping your teeth healthy and white requires more than just the regular brushing, flossing and dental visits. Some foods can stain your teeth. This doesn’t mean you should stop eating or drinking them. But it does mean that some foods and drinks require some thought.
As a general rule to keep in mind, foods and drinks that have intense colouring will somehow leave colour stains on the teeth. That colour comes from chromogen – a pigment-producing substance that has the ability to stick to the tooth enamel causing stain on the teeth. Acidic foods or drinks can erode your teeth enamel giving more chances for the chromogen to stick more to the teeth.
We are not saying you should avoid these foods. We are saying that these foods mean you need to take a little more care with your dental hygiene.
The 5 most common teeth-staining foods and drinks are:
- Wine Red wine will obviously cause stain on your teeth. But interestingly white wine is found to discolour your teeth in just the same way. Wine has high acid contents and this acid softens the tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth immediately after drinking wine can cause damage to the tooth enamel. We suggest you rinse your mouth with water after drinking wine and brushing after about 30 minutes to lessen the damage.
- Curry The main stain comes from turmeric. Eating curry foods will give your teeth the same yellow colour stain. Curry dish combined with green leafy vegetables will help keep the stain away. Rinsing you mouth with water after a curry and brushing you teeth after 30 minutes to reduce the stain. Curries are delicious so we are not advocating avoidance.
- Coffee While coffee is known to be a top stain source we know that many people need it to get going in the morning. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after breakfast to minimise the staining effect.
- Blueberries These fruits are packed with antioxidants and are good for your nutrient requirements. Hence, blueberries should always be a part of everyone’s diet. The dark colours of the berries, blackberries and raspberries are among the top teeth stain makers.
- Sports Drinks Darker colours will stain more although the real stain-causing ingredient of sports drinks is the acid content. Sugar is also a culprit as it feeds the bacteria that live in the mouth. It is always better to check the acidity and sugar level contents of sports drinks before consuming. We recommend you avoid sports drinks and stick to water.
If you want to lighten or whiten your teeth, you can always consult your dentist about teeth whitening. We are able to custom make a teeth whitening program for you to do at home.