Foods That Stain Your Teeth & Tips for a Whiter Smile

Foods That Stain Your Teeth & Tips for a Whiter Smile

April 07, 2018

You’re finally on the path to an even better smile with your Smilelove aligners, but you’ll find temptation along the way. Food can sometimes be our worst enemy, especially for our teeth. DIfferent foods can turn our beautiful white teeth, yellow and sometimes even gray. Let’s find out which foods are the worst culprits and discuss some tips that could help you avoid teeth staining. But before discussing foods that stain your teeth, let’s have a look at some technical terms.

Technical Stuff

The food that we eat and liquids that we consume are made up of different components, and there are three substances that are horrible for our teeth; they are acid, chromogens, and tannins. These substances are to blame for stained teeth.

  • Acidic foods have a tendency to erode and wear away the surface of the enamel, the hard outer-layer of our teeth, causing our teeth to discolor. It also softens our teeth.
  • Chromogens are pigment-producing substances that stick easily to tooth enamel. Imagine eating a red lolly-pop, what does your mouth look like after you’ve been sucking and munching on it for a while? It’s completely red, right?
  • Tannin is a substance that helps chromogens stick to our tooth enamel.

What Foods Stain Our Teeth?

  • Tea and Coffee: No surprises here, but did you know that tea was actually worse than coffee? Both drinks are very acidic and tea is high in tannin.
  • Berries: Although berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, are known as superfruits because of their high antioxidant content, they can still stain our teeth.
  • Tomato products: Ketchup, pasta sauce, salsa, among others are acidic and if eaten too often can cause erosion and make it easier for our teeth to stain.
  • Cola: Cola products are not only acidic but also contain chromogens. The combination of the two makes this food highly toxic for our teeth.


Some of these food products may seem hard to give up altogether and as with everything, moderation is the key. Mind the number of cups of coffee and tea that you drink, try not to go too crazy with the berries during the summer season, and if you are going to drink cola, try to choose sugar-free. A few other things that you could try is:

  • Drink your liquids with a straw. This enables the liquid to go directly into your mouth and does not come into contact with your teeth as severely.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. However, when you consume acidic foods you should wait a while and wait for your tooth enamel to become hard. Also, don’t forget to floss!
  • Drink water, this liquid gold helps to wash away the acid and other substances that are harmful to our teeth.
  • Get a regular dental check-up and a thorough clean.

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