There’s a good reason people strive to keep their teeth looking as white as possible. It’s been shown that white teeth can make you appear younger and more attractive. Good dental hygiene goes a long way to stop the discolouration of your teeth. But it’s important to know that certain foods and beverages that cause staining that can give your teeth a stained or yellowed appearance.

Some food contains chromogens which are highly pigments molecules that can bind with your tooth enamel. Tannins found in some food can boost the staining power of choromogens. Acidic food and beverages can also cause staining because they erode the enamel on your teeth, making them more porous.

Here are some foods to watch out for and if you do consume them regularly ensure you brush regularly:

  • Wine – both red and white wine can contribute to stained teeth thanks to chromogens and tannins
  • Tea – contains tannin. Black tea is just behind wine in its staining power. Herbal tea and green stains less
  • Soft drinks and sports drinks are highly acidic
  • Sugary sweets
  • Curries and Condiments – brightly coloured foods can contain a lot of substances that can stain your teeth
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit and vegetables – some brightly coloured fruit and vegetables contain stain your teeth due to their pigmentation

As it’s hard to avoid all these foods and beverages – some of which are good for you – you should try to minimise staining.

Here are some other ways you can reduce the risk of staining your teeth:

  • Rinse with water keep a glass of water handy and rinse during and after
  • Use a straw for beverage that have staining potential, where possible
  • Swallow promptly as the less time the staining substances are in contact with your teeth, the less they will stain.

A little common sense can go a long way to reducing the stains left behind the food and drinks we consume.