Are you wearing your diet on your teeth? Every day, we eat and drink foods and beverages that not only eat away at the enamel on our teeth, but they leave teeth yellow, stained, and tarnished. From your morning cup of coffee, to your glass of happy hour wine, to your weekend bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, these teeth-staining offenders may be compromising your white smile.
Coffee and Tea
Did you know, according to the National Coffee Association, 34 percent of Americans consume gourmet coffee beverages every day? It’s one of North America’s most-consumed beverages; tea is another beloved beverage consumed by many Americans. Although both coffee and tea taut many health benefits, they can do a number on your teeth.
The pigments in dark-roast coffee and the tannins in black tea can definitely leave their marks, so add some milk or cream to your coffee or black tea to minimize their staining-power. Drink a glass of water afterwards, too, to help wash off the pigments. Also, sticking to green, white, and herbals teas will reduce the amount of staining (no cream or milk required).
There’s nothing more satisfying than a savory dinner and delicious glass of red wine. Red wine, like coffee and tea, has been lauded for its potential health benefits, but it, too, can tarnish your teeth. Red wine’s acidic profile, chromogens and tannins not only stains teeth, but it can chip away at the enamel on your teeth. So follow up sips of wine with sips of water.
Despite soda’s sugary palate, it is full of high-acid ingredients. Although cola-colored sodas contain chromogen, light-colored soft drinks are still extremely high in acid—both wear and tear at the enamel on your teeth, making them vulnerable to staining. Limit your soda intake.
Yes, berries pack a healthful punch, but their colorful and healthy pigments, i.e., carotenoids, are like ink on paper. Pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries and other vibrantly colored fruits can cause discolorations, and this includes fruit pies and tarts.
Switching to lightly colored fruits is one solution. But who wants to stop eating tartly sweetened berries? Your best bet is to brush and floss afterwards. One of the best ways to combat teeth-staining foods is to carry a toothbrush with you at all times.