Top 10 Foods to Avoid for Whiter Teeth

Published:March 22nd, 2012

© Nicolas Raymond

Everyone wants to have a nice white healthy smile, as it can make you appear more youthful, and is a huge confidence booster. While teeth whitening is generally very safe, provided it is carried out correctly, teeth will eventually darken up again, and this is simply a fact of life.

However you can make the effects of teeth bleaching lasts longer by avoiding certain foods and drinks that are well known for staining teeth. Avoiding these foods and drinks, or at least only having them in moderation really can help your gleaming white smile stay that way for longer.

1.    Coffee. No one is surprised to see this one on the list, as it’s well known for staining teeth. The reason for this is because your tooth surfaces are slightly porous, and they will absorb any foods or liquids. Obviously something this dark coloured is going to stain. If you can’t give it up then dilute its effects by adding plenty of milk or cream and you’ll be boosting your calcium content.

2.    Tea. Drinking tea isn’t any better, as it’s full of tannins. If you want a cup of tea then choose white or green tea which is full of antioxidants, and won’t stain your teeth so much. Avoid fruit teas as these are often quite acidic and will stain.

3.    Red wine. A glass or two of red wine may be good for you, but it’s not so great for your smile. If you have ever stuck out your tongue after drinking a glass of Shiraz or any full-bodied red then you’ll know why.

4.    White wine. You might think you’re safe drinking white wine, but it’s very acidic and can harm your teeth. If you want glass of white wine tried as a spritzer, or rents your mouth with water afterwards.

5.    Fizzy drinks. Fizzy drinks are bad for your teeth, even the diet ones. Darker coloured fizzy drinks are worse, but all tend to contain phosphoric and citric acids which weaken the tooth enamel. If you want one then try to use a drinking straw so it doesn’t come into contact with your teeth so much.

6.    Fruit juices. Fruit juices, while being healthy often contain a lot of acid which can eat away at your tooth enamel, and darker coloured fruit juices are well-known to stain teeth. If you want a glass of juice then try diluting it to make it into a spritzer, or better still eat a light coloured piece of fruit such as an apple.

7.    Balsamic vinegar. This might seem an unlikely one, but more are more of us are choosing to dip our bread in a bit of olive oil and balsamic, but unfortunately yummy balsamic can stain teeth. However if used on salads it might not be quite so bad, as apparently lettuce can form a film over the teeth which act as a barrier. Unfortunately lettuce in between the teeth isn’t particularly attractive!

8.    Tomato-based sauces. Tomato-based sauces might be healthy and delicious, but they will stain your teeth. One way to mitigate the effect is to eat plenty of vegetables such as broccoli or spinach with them, as these help to protect the teeth.

9.    Blueberries. Blueberries are a well-known superfood as they are chock-full of antioxidants. But that lovely deep colour will stain your teeth. They’re still worth eating. Just try to rinse your mouth with water afterwards.

10.    Curry. Who doesn’t love a Friday night Curry? However if you’ve ever spilled any on your carpet or clothes, you’ll know how hard it is to get the stain out. Exactly the same applies to your teeth.

About the author

Alison, is a UK born and educated dental professional with over 25 years experience.

9 Customer Reviews of “Top 10 Foods to Avoid for Whiter Teeth”

Comment by Graciela, April 19, 2012

Even before I began reading the body of this article, somehow I know coffee and tea would be at the top of this list. I try to drink coffee in moderation, but it is almost necessary for me for it’s energy boosting properties. The same goes for green tea, which I drink for it’s ability to boost my metabolism and its antioxidants. So I’m glad that green tea is the exception as far as tea is concerned.

Comment by Michael, April 19, 2012

I knew that coffee would be at the top of the list myself and I’m not giving up my coffee. I do put a lot of creamer and milk in mine too though. Coffee doesn’t wake me up it just taste good and when I crave something sweet I can have a cup of coffee and the craving goes away. This has been an awesome article and I look forward to seeing more from you.

Comment by Roy, April 20, 2012

I always want whiter teeth but I just can’t give up my coffee, I already put skim mike in it and sugar free creamer so that it is a caramel color instead of black, what else can I do? I wish there was a film that you could brush on your teeth ever week that would prevent staining because I would definitely do it. This was a very interesting article, thank you for the tips.

Comment by Lena, April 20, 2012

Is there a coating or something that the dentist can put on your teeth to prevent them from turning darker? If they can whiten them with some kind of cream or light then they should be able to coat them with something to prevent stains. They do it with fluoride what is the difference? I realize that it would be expensive, what does a dentist do that isn’t, but it would be worth it.

Comment by Robert, April 21, 2012

I understand the coffee, tea and blueberries but shouldn’t you avoid black berries as well? I have never seen some ones teeth darken more than with blackberries. Why haven’t they developed something to put on your teeth to protect them from darkening like this? If they can coat your teeth with fluoride what would be the difference. Maybe I should event something and make a ton of money.

Comment by Paul, April 21, 2012

I already put skim milk and sugar free creamer in my coffee so that it’s a caramel color instead of black, is that enough or what else can I do? I always want a whiter smile but I can’t give up the coffee and tea in order to get it. This was a very interesting article, I’m going to research more ways to prevent my teeth from darkening thank you for the ideas.

Comment by Janice, April 24, 2012

I have never seen some ones teeth darken more than with blackberries. I understand that your teeth kind of get yellow with coffee and tea but with blackberries you get purple teeth or black. Why haven’t they developed something to put on your teeth to protect them from darkening like this? If they can coat your teeth with fluoride what would be the difference?

Comment by Peggy, April 24, 2012

I have noticed that some things will darken dentures that don’t darken real teeth. I would really like to enjoy my coffee after dinner but I can’t because of the dentures. Forget eating blackberry cobbler which is my favorite. I am going to do some research to see if there is a coating we can put on the dentures that will prevent this.

Comment by Mauricio, April 24, 2012

I am becoming increasingly concerned with the health of my teeth because it has been years since I have been to a dentist. And although I take good care of my teeth by brushing after each meal and by flossing (most of the time), I have noticed that I have a few pits / cavities. And I know that once the outer enamel is penetrated, it’s like a breech for bacteria to eat away at the inside of the tooth.

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