No one wants stains on their smile, but the truth is, there are many foods out there that can cause brown and yellow spots, and many of these foods are also delicious and healthy.
Fortunately, through proper dental hygiene and other techniques, you can reduce the impact your favorite foods have on the appearance of your smile.
Foods and Drinks that Cause Tooth Staining
Foods that are richly colored have a tendency to cause staining to your teeth. Common foods that lead to staining are:
- Soy sauce
- Tomato sauce
- Dark beverages like coffee, tea, cranberry juice, cola, grape juice, and red wine
If you do consume these foods, rinse your mouth as soon as you can. This should wash away the stain-inducing liquids before they set in to your smile.
Five Methods for Cutting Down on Staining
The good news is that there are things we can do to prevent yellowing teeth other than avoiding our favorite foods.
Try employing these methods to help your teeth stay looking their best:
- Alternate With Sips of Water: When drinking a beverage that is likely to cause staining, like juice, wine, tea, or coffee, throw in a sip of water between each sip of the other beverage. This will rinse your teeth and help your drink last longer.
- Try Using a Straw: Using a straw to sip your drinks cuts down on the length of time your teeth are in contact with the dark colored drink.
- Follow it Up with a Thorough Brush and Floss: Plaque creates a tacky surface that stain causing particles love to cling to. That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to brush thoroughly twice a day and floss daily.
- Avoid Smoking: In case you need more reasons to quit smoking, here’s another–the tar can yellow your teeth.
- See a Dentist Every 6 Months: Twice yearly professional cleanings can remove some mild surface stains while taking away stubborn plaque that has hardened and become more difficult to remove.
Foods that Help Remove Stains
Now that we’ve covered foods that stain your teeth, it only makes sense to mention the foods that actually have the opposite effect!
The foods on this list keep your teeth healthy. Some of them are rich in water and natural fibers, which help you produce more saliva that naturally cleans your teeth. Others contain tooth-healthy minerals like B vitamins, calcium, and iron.
- Shitake Mushrooms
Citrus fruits are another food that can pack a serious whitening punch. You just need to exercise a bit of caution here. These fruits are acidic and can temporarily soften your enamel. Be sure to wait 30 or more minutes after consuming citrus before you brush your teeth.
Lone Tree Modern Dental wishes you the best of luck in putting these tips to work and protecting your smile. If you do have some stains that have set in, check out our whitening page to learn about how we can restore your smile to its gleaming white state.