Everyone wants white teeth and a great smile. No one wants an off-color smile full of yellow teeth.
But over time, teeth can become stained and yellowed by food and drink. While this could happen to anyone, some foods and drinks make the problem worse.
Here are four popular foods and drink items that can cause stained teeth.
1. Coffee and Tea
Your teeth can easily be stained by coffee. Coffee contains tannins, organic plant compounds. Tannins give the drink its dark color and taste.
Tooth enamel is naturally porous. That makes it easy for tannins to be absorbed. Over time, you could have coffee-stained teeth.
Tea isn’t much better. It also contains tannins, and in some cases might be even worse for staining your teeth than coffee. Black tea appears to be the worse culprit, but green and herbal teas can also discolor teeth.
If you’ve ever spilled a glass of wine, you know how difficult it can be to remove it from your carpet or furniture. So it’s no surprise that it can also stain teeth. Both red and white wine can stain your teeth.
The acid in wine can also allow other beverages to damage your teeth. It breaks down the enamel and makes your teeth more susceptible to decay.
You don’t have to quit drinking wine altogether to prevent wine stained teeth. You can swish your mouth with some water after drinking wine to prevent stains.
This technique works after drinking coffee and tea too. Of course, you should still maintain good dental hygiene at home and schedule regular dental visits.
3. Tomato-Based Pasta Sauces
Most people don’t realize it, but pasta sauces can be harmful to your teeth in a couple of ways.
Like wine, pasta sauce is very acidic. It makes your teeth more vulnerable to discoloration. Also, the red pigment found in tomato sauces will discolor your teeth.
4. Soda and Carbonated Drinks
Soda contains sugar that allows bacteria to grow and multiply, breaking down your enamel. Carbonated drinks can create cavities due to their acidity.
Of course, soda can also stain your teeth. Darker sodas are more likely to cause stains, but all types of soda are bad for your teeth.
It’s important to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. This is especially true as you age. Health problems such as arthritis can make it difficult to maintain good dental hygiene.
Consider substituting smoothies for soda. You could also try seltzer or sparkling water. If you’re still on the fence, remember this: soda has zero nutritional value.
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