Teeth Whitening Tips: 7 Foods Unexpectedly Staining Your Smile

You’ve already mourned coffee and red wine’s teeth staining effects, but just because you’re avoiding Europe’s finest indulgences, it doesn’t mean your smile is safe. Rather, Dr. Eric Weiner and Dr. Arnold Tyrangel of Great Neck & Mid-Island Dental Associates say it’s these 7 unexpected teeth-staining foods you need to watch out for – or just brush immediately after!

7 Foods Unexpectedly Staining Your Smile

Tea. Coffee gets the back rap, but tea is no bright smile lover. Rather, tea’s tannins, especially those in black tea, stain teeth just like coffee, and those light-hued herbal and white tea are known to erode tooth enamel.

Tomato Sauce. It seems harmless enough – and the lycopene in cooked and canned tomatoes has great antioxidant properties! – but tomato sauce has significant staining potential due to its high acid content and its bright red color.

Pickles They seem harmless enough, but those acid-soaked cucumbers can lead to enamel erosion, making the foods or drinks you consume after even more staining.

Sports Drinks. That pre-holiday workout is a great idea! The post-workout Gatorade guzzle, however, erodes tooth enamel. Boost your boring water with these tips!

Dried fruit. It’s definitely a healthier dessert option than most, but when it comes to your teeth: beware! Dried fruit sticks to teeth (like gummy candies!) and the sugar content in them feeds bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.

Alcohol. Your reduced inhibitions may make you smile more, but that cocktail your sipping (or chugging!) irritates the soft tissue in the mouth, which can lead to gum disease. Alternate each cocktail with a glass of water to help rinse damaging alcohol away.

Breads + Cereals. The starches in breads and cereals mix with an enzyme in the saliva, creating an acid that can erode the enamel. In addition, some cereals are high in sugar which can lead to tooth decay. Brush your teeth after breakfast, though, and you can rest assured your smile is good to go!

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