How to Prevent Tooth Staining

July 11, 2019

coffee cupsStained teeth can get in the way of a confident smile. Unfortunately, many delicious and healthy foods can cause your teeth to develop yellow or brown spots.

The good news is that through proper technique and good dental hygiene, there are ways we can reduce the impact these foods have on the shade of our teeth.

Foods and Drinks that Cause Tooth Staining

If a food stains your skin or clothes, there’s a good chance it will stain your teeth as well. Common culprits include:

  • Dark beverages like tea, coffee, cola, red wine, grape juice, and cranberry juice
  • Blueberries
  • Beets
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato sauce

After consuming these foods, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth thoroughly before the stains set in.

Five Methods for Cutting Down on Staining

Fortunately, we aren’t completely powerless in the fight against stains. You can still enjoy foods that are likely to cause staining without committing yourself to a life with yellow chompers.

The following techniques can help you keep your pearly whites at their pearliest and whitest:

  1. Space it Out with Sips of Water: When you drink beverages that cause staining, like coffee, tea, wine, or juices, try alternating with sips of water. This will extend the life of your beverage and rinse off your teeth between sips.
  2. Try Using a Straw: Sipping beverages through straws cuts down on the amount of time your teeth are exposed to liquids that cause staining.
  3. Follow it Up with a Thorough Brush and Floss: The bacteria that hangs around in your mouth is called plaque. This sticky substance creates a stronghold for staining components to grab on to. By brushing and flossing thoroughly each day, you’ll be getting rid of the plaque where stain-causing substances like to gather.
  4. Avoid Smoking: It’s not hard to find a reason to quit smoking. Here’s another one for your list: the tar from cigarette and chewing tobacco can lead to serious staining.
  5. See a Dentist Every 6 Months: This will keep your mouth healthy and your smile bright by removing stubborn plaque that has hardened into tartar.

Foods that Help Remove Stains

On the other hand, there is a long list of foods that help reduce staining on your teeth. Eating these foods helps to produce saliva, which combines with the foods’ fibers to naturally clean your teeth. Many of the foods also include minerals that are good for your teeth, such as calcium, iron, and B vitamins.

These include:

  • Water
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese
  • Apple
  • Pineapple
  • Carrots
  • Raisins
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Shitake Mushrooms

Another type of food known to have tooth-whitening power? Citrus fruits. Just be careful, since these are acidic foods, they temporarily soften your enamel, so wait 30 minutes after consuming before you brush your teeth.

We hope our tips help you to enjoy your favorite foods and keep your teeth sparkly white! If stains have set in, visit our whitening page to learn about the how we can help get you a sparkling smile!