Teeth Stains: Top Foods, Drinks to Limit

If you have yellow teeth or stains, one whitening treatment at your dentist’s office may be all it takes to make your smile several shades lighter and brighter. To protect your whitened teeth, you’ll want to avoid certain foods and drinks that stain teeth – or only enjoy them in moderation. Check out these top stain producers.

Coffee stains are nothing to smile about.

Drinking coffee every day is a hard habit to quit if you rely on it to help you wake up and get moving in the morning. Many people can’t begin their day without a strong cup of coffee. Or can they?

Whether you can give up your caffeine habit is entirely up to you. If you’re trying to quit, you’ll need to slowly wean yourself off caffeine or you’ll get a headache. Start by making half your coffee decaf. Once you get used to little or no caffeine, it’s easier to quit. Another option is to limit your coffee intake so you limit its opportunity to leave stains. Don’t be tempted to drink coffee throughout the day or to grab an afternoon coffee. Have only one cup in the morning and follow it up with your daily brushing and flossing routine.

Tea also stains your teeth.

Depending on how much you drink and the type, tea can stain your teeth just as much as coffee does. Certain teas will stain your teeth more than others. Teas contain tannins, which can stain teeth yellow or gray. If you can’t give up your green tea, consider buying a higher quality product, which may not stain your teeth as much.

Superfoods equal super dark stains.

Antioxidant-rich berries, such as blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates, can easily stain your teeth, however, that doesn’t mean you should stop eating them. Getting proper nutrition is key to staying healthy. Use common sense when you’re eating berries. Make sure you rinse your mouth with water after eating berries and follow up with brushing your teeth. If you don’t have a toothbrush with you, at least chew some sugarless gum to help prevent staining.

Red wine stains are hard to get off a rug — and your teeth.

Does your smile let everyone know the type of wine you prefer? Red wine contains a highly-pigmented substance called chromogen. After few sips of red wine, your teeth may look purple or gray.

Choosing white wine over red may not be the best alternative either. A 2009 study from NYU dental researchers found that drinking white wine can make your teeth more susceptible to dark stains. It’s the acid in white wine that creates spots and grooves on your teeth so tannins from coffee and tea can penetrate deeper into your teeth.

When you enjoy a glass of wine, make sure to drink plenty of water afterward and remember to brush.

Keep brushing and flossing your beautiful smile.

Maintaining a good brushing and flossing routine will help keep your smile looking bright. You can also use a whitening toothpaste to attack any surface stains on your teeth. For deeper stains, your best bet is to consult your dentist. The teeth whitening treatments your dentist provides are the fastest and most effective way to get rid of stains and yellow teeth.


Would you like a brighter smile? Request an appointment online or call 1-800-SMILE-23. Ask your Konikoff dentist if teeth whitening is right for you. Konikoff Dentistry has eight convenient locations with offices in Chesapeake, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.