You already know about the teeth-staining potential of things like coffee and wine. But did you know your favorite fruit salad, those dashes of soy sauce, or even your favorite sports drink might affect the whiteness of your smile, too?
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Now, this said, we’re not saying not to avoid the foods in the below list, as many of them have amazing health benefits, such as fruit. Instead, after you eat or drink them, just be sure to rinse your mouth, brush your teeth and/or chew some gum.
Some of the top teeth-staining culprits include:
Although tea has a reputation as a healthy beverage, it may not be the best choice when it comes to keeping your teeth white. Dentists say tea — especially the basic black variety — can cause more stains than coffee. However, recent studies have found that even herbal teas and white teas have the potential to erode enamel and cause tooth staining.
They may be delicious, but deeply-colored sauces — like soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curry sauce — are also believed to have significant tooth-staining potential. Consider lighter cream sauces for less damaging options and rinse or brush soon after eating to reduce the potential for teeth stains.
Acidic foods and drinks can also lead to tooth discoloration. Recent research finds that highly acidic drinks — like sports or energy drinks — can erode tooth enamel, setting the stage for staining. When exercising, limit the intake of these drinks. Water may be a better choice — at least for your teeth.
If a food or drink can stain a tablecloth, it has the potential to stain your teeth. Red wine, an acidic drink with intensely pigmented molecules called tannins and chromogens, is notorious for tooth discoloration. White wine is even more acidic and can lead to stains, too.