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10 foods to avoid if you want a whiter smile

If you enjoy tea, coffee or red wine, you’ve probably read many times about the dangers of consuming such beverages when it comes to keeping your teeth white. Although these may be among the worst culprits – especially when we tend to drink tea and coffee throughout the day – there are many other popular foods and drinks that can cause staining and discolouration of your teeth. In this article, we look at some of the biggest offenders – and how to keep your teeth shining so you can enjoy your favourite dishes without worry.

Top 10 teeth-staining foods and drinks

1. Tea and coffee. 

Tea and coffee both contain tannins, which cause the majority of staining (rather than the caffeine, contrary to popular belief). There is some evidence that using a good amount of milk in your tea or coffee may help to counteract the staining.

2. Red wine

Many people enjoy the occasional glass of red wine, and in moderation, it may even be beneficial for the health. Unfortunately for our teeth, red wine is one of the most common causes of tooth staining.

3. Cola

It’s not just the dark colouring of this drink that makes it problematic – it also contains high levels of acids which will wear away at your teeth. This can damage the surface of the teeth and cause stains to penetrate deeper. 

4. Fruit juices 

Although generally healthier for the body than high-sugar, carbonised soft drinks, dark-coloured fruit juices are not always ideal for maintaining a shiny smile. Cranberry, blueberry and grape juices, in particular, can leave stains on your teeth.

5. Tomato-based sauces

While tomatoes are a tasty and versatile source of many important nutrients, the pigment that is responsible for their deep red colour also means they are far from friendly when it comes to keeping your teeth the right colour.

6. Curry

Curry has seen a huge surge in popularity in the UK over recent years and comes in a vast variety of flavours. However, the spices that are responsible for its strong and vibrant colours and flavours can also leave behind tell-tale signs on your teeth.

7. Balsamic vinegar

If you like to eat healthily, balsamic vinegar is the perfect ingredient to finish off a tasty salad dressing. Unfortunately, the combination of acidity and dark colour makes it another prime culprit for teeth staining. 

8. Soy sauce

Soy sauce is a staple ingredient in the ever-popular stir-fry, but the dark colouring of soy may linger on your teeth long after the taste has disappeared.

9. Berries

Munching on a handful of berries can help to reach your five-a-day and make a great alternative to less healthy snacks, but as healthy as they may be, berries are another tooth-staining food, especially darker berries such as blackberries and currants.

10. Beetroot

Beetroot is packed full of vitamins and minerals, and there have been claims about its health benefits. However, you don’t need us to tell you how much it can stain!

Maintaining a healthy balance

Although it may be tempting to completely avoid certain foods or drinks in order to keep your teeth white, this approach is not recommended. While reducing consumption may help to protect against staining, you should always seek advice from an appropriate medical professional before making significant changes to your diet.

How to help prevent staining 

When it comes to protecting your teeth, it is important to consider not just what you consume, but when. In particular, consuming some of the above as part of a main meal rather than as snacks in between can help to reduce the risk of staining.

You can also introduce other foods and drinks to help counter the risk of staining. Cheese and celery are just two foods that actually help to clean the teeth, while drinking water can also help to rinse the teeth and reduce acidity. Sugar-free chewing gum can also help. Of course, regular brushing with a quality, fluoride toothpaste and the use of interdental brushes or floss are among your best lines of defence.

Your dental hygienist can also help you with personalised advice on oral hygiene.

Enjoy whiter teeth with Philips Zoom! Whitening

Want whiter teeth? ​​We recommend the highly popular Philips Zoom! teeth whitening system. Philips Zoom! teeth whitening takes as little as four 15 minute visits to achieve long-lasting results, unlike many other teeth whitening alternatives that can take weeks or months. The WhiteSpeed lamp accelerates the process and provides you with great results, up to six shades whiter.

  • Hassle-Free  – Philips Zoom! can be catered to your needs. In-office or at-home teeth whitening during the day or at night means there’s a solution for everyone.
  • Safe – Teeth whitening should always be carried out under the guidance of a trained dental professional. This allows your treatment to be monitored and tailored to you.
  • Long-lasting – Philips Zoom! has been designed to provide long-lasting results. With excellent oral hygiene and occasional touch-ups, we can keep your smile bright.

Want a smile that you are proud of? Speak to our experts today. Call now on 0161 445 1211 to book an appointment.


Posted by Oak Mount Dental Practice

Website last updated: June 2022

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