What Foods Stain Your Teeth, and What Foods Help Clean Them?

Are you frustrated that your teeth appear dull and yellow, despite brushing and flossing every day? The fact is that even the best oral care can’t always prevent staining. Learn which foods cause tooth stains and which foods help ward off discoloration.

6 Foods that Stain Teeth

  1. Curry and tomato sauce: With their bright colors and high acidity, these sauces create the perfect conditions for staining teeth. Over time, they may turn your pearly whites yellow, so it’s best to limit your intake of curry and tomato sauce.
  2. Balsamic vinegar: It may taste delicious on salads, but balsamic vinegar is known for staining teeth. Its dark color and reputation for sticking to your teeth mean it can leave stains behind if not washed away quickly.
  3. Berries: Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries are all brightly colored and quite acidic, a bad combination for your teeth. However, they’re packed with beneficial antioxidants, so don’t cut them out of your diet just yet. Instead, drink milk or rinse your mouth with water after eating berries to wash the staining juices away.
  4. Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes contain citric acid, which weakens enamel and exposes the dentin underneath. If you eat other staining foods at the same time, you could end up with discolored teeth.
  5. Candy: Sweets that change the color of your tongue can also stain your teeth. The sugar in candy also leads to tooth decay.
  6. Dark-colored or acidic drinks: Coffee, tea, wine, soda, and sports drinks are darkly colored, acidic, or both. Of these culprits, tea—green tea in particular—is the healthiest option.

4 Foods that Clean Teeth

  1. Fruits: Apples are perhaps the best fruit for your teeth because of their texture. Chewing an apple scrubs your teeth and stimulates your gums. The nutrients in other fruits, including pears and strawberries, also promote stronger, healthier teeth.
  2. Raw vegetables: As with apples, the texture of raw celery, carrots, and cauliflower have a tooth-scrubbing effect when you chew them. Other veggies known to support good oral health include cucumbers, spinach, kale, and broccoli.
  3. Baking soda: While eating food with baking soda in it won’t change your smile, choosing toothpaste with this mild abrasive certainly will. You can even brush with baking soda straight from the box on occasion for gentle at-home teeth whitening.
  4. Dairy products: Yogurt, milk, and cheese contain calcium and proteins required for healthy teeth. They also balance the pH in your mouth, so consume dairy products after eating acidic food to counteract the negative effects.

By avoiding foods that stain your teeth and reaching for foods that clean them instead, you can help keep discoloration at bay. Of course, professional dental cleanings are also critical for maintaining a bright, white smile. Remember to brush and floss daily as well to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Park 56 Dental can help your smile look its best. Schedule your next teeth cleaning in NYC by calling (212) 826-2322 today.

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