Proper oral hygiene is obviously a requirement for a bright smile, and the less obvious is probably what you eat and drink. Certain foods and beverages can discolor teeth, and each type to a different degree. If you want to protect your pearly whites, read on for some common culprits that stain your teeth.

Red Wine

Wines contain tannins. You can see the red stains on your teeth immediately after consumption—that’s how potent it is. Sipping water intermittently is recommended to help reduce the staining effect.

Coffee or Tea

Most people depend on these drinks to get their caffeine fix, but they have tannins which to can leave a gray or brown discoloration on your teeth if consumed regularly. Adding milk to tea or coffee can help reduce this effect. Plus, milk is a good source of calcium that is important for your dental health.


These contain nicotine and tar, both of which can lead to yellow and brown stains on your teeth. Not to mention, smoking is one of the common risk factors for many oral health problems, including gum disease and oral cancer. The sooner you can quit, the sooner your body can start to recover.


Any food that stains your fingers is likely to stain your teeth too. The spice commonly found in a variety of foods leaves your teeth with a yellow or orange pigmentation.

Soft Drinks

The acidic nature of soft drinks can cause your teeth to become more porous and more susceptible to future staining. Dark ones like cola can cause further discolorations to your teeth. These drinks should ideally be avoided or only consumed in moderation.

Brightly colored berries i.e. blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranates

There are a variety of fruits that have dark pigments that can easily stain your teeth. Blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranates have purple and red pigments that can leave residue on your teeth.

Tomato sauce

This contains a highly pigmented color and is acidic as well. Acidic foods can weaken the enamel layer of your tooth which can make it more porous and in turn more susceptible to stains.

Fruit Juices

Fruit juice is slightly acidic, causing the teeth to become more susceptible to staining. Fruit juices also contain sugar which can feed bacteria, causing cavities while staining your teeth. The longer something is in contact with your teeth, the more time it’s got to leave stains behind, or for acidic ingredient to act on the enamel. Try not to keep acidic drinks such as fruit juice in your mouth for longer than necessary before swallowing.

Soy sauce and Balsamic vinegar

Dark pigments and sticky consistency will leave stains in their wake.

Not brushing and flossing your teeth

Dental plaque that forms on the surfaces of teeth tends to retain the stains, and good oral health helps to reduce the build-up of plaque. We recommend brushing teeth twice a day, and using dental floss regularly.

A regular examination is an important cornerstone of a good oral care routine, as we check your teeth and gums for early signs of problems and also offer advice about how to help keep your teeth healthy and looking great!

Related articles