Decrease Your Intake of These Foods to Keep Your Teeth White

white teethAmericans love to eat. They also love to keep teeth white and shiny. However, sometimes these two things don’t quite work together. Many food items that we enjoy every day may actually be contributing to the stains on your teeth.

Some of the foods that can discolor your teeth are listed below:



A variety of common drinks do stain teeth and you probably don’t even realize it. Chromogens, tannins, and acids damage teeth, and these components can be found in most drinks.


  • Coffee: Coffee contains chromogens (pigments) and acids, the former stains the teeth and the latter damages the enamel layer, making it easier for the stains to set in. If you drink more than a cup of coffee every day, you need to rinse your mouth with water and brush more often to keep surface stains from building up.


  • Tea: The tannins in tea can be even more harmful for the color of your teeth than coffee. In addition to strong pigments and acids, tannins cling to the teeth.


  • Sports and soft drinks: These are acidic and damage the enamel by softening it and making it easier to etch with brushing and chewing hard food items. Softer, etched enamel not only makes it easier for the stains to set in, but also reveals the inner yellowish dentin layer.


  • Alcohol: Red or white wine, both can seriously stain your teeth. Anything that stains your shirt, also stains your teeth. White wine is acidic and, like other acidic drinks, softens enamel, paving the way for stains.


Dyed Foods

Lollipops, candies and other such items that temporarily leave your tongue and teeth stained, also affect your teeth’s natural whiteness over the long-term. That includes colored drinks also. The pigments in these foods directly attack the enamel and exposed roots.



Berries are very good for your health, but they can discolor your teeth if you eat too many of them and don’t brush your teeth accordingly. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries all contain chromogens which stick to your teeth and stain them. Eating berries with milk or drinking milk after eating berries neutralizes the acidic effect. You should also rinse with water or a fluoride-based rinse after eating berries.



These foods have their benefits, but you need to be aware of the effects they can have on your teeth. You can avoid stains by taking care of rinsing, brushing, and having regular cleanings done by your hygienist. To book your cleaning, call Dr. Dana D. Keith, DDS. of ICC Smiles at (301) 302-0920 or (301) 652-1100, or visit 15434 New Hampshire Ave NE, Silver Spring, MD 20905.

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