Which Foods Stain Teeth and Which Ones Whiten Teeth?

A Closer Look at Stains …

Teeth have a big impact on the appearance of a person and that is why many people try their best to make their teeth white. Some studies have shown that people who have whiter teeth are perceived to be more socially competent and more psychologically adjusted. In another study commissioned by Crest Whitestrips (full disclosure) it was suggested that a brighter smile can lead to more success in both your personal and professional life. True or not, it never hurts to aspire to be our best, including the smile we show (or don’t show) to others!

 So, what are some of the foods and drinks that lead to people having a more radiant smile and the ones that tarnish and tint the teeth?  Let’s take a closer look and learn more about the foods that are going to dull your smile and those that are going to help.

Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Acidic Foods

If you start noticing a yellowish tinge to your teeth, then acidic foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits could be the culprits. Even though they are rich in nutrients, they can easily result in the erosion of the enamel, and this will expose the dentin (this is a yellow-hued tissue that is found under the enamel and it is made up of calcium and phosphate crystals).


This is not something coffee lovers want to hear, but the morning cure you take before starting the day could be the cause of staining and discoloration of your teeth. Coffee is acidic and it will affect the pH balance of the mouth, and this will mean any acidic food you take later will cause damage to the teeth.

How can you deal with this situation? You might try drinking coffee with a to-go lid and not use a straw. This will help in cutting back on the acidic-environment situation caused by coffee in your mouth, and it will also help in preventing the fine lines that usually form when puckering your lips to sip from a straw.

Candy and Sweets

You must have heard that sugar will lead to you losing your teeth.  Although this is a little dramatic, it is hinged on fact. When you eat treats that have sugar such as hard candy and cookies, they latch on your teeth and the bacteria in your mouth will feast on it. When the bacteria do this, they end up releasing acids that cause tooth decay, and you may start to notice dark spots on your teeth.


Beverages full of sugar will have an effect just like snacks with sugar, giving the bacteria in your mouth a lot to feed on. Sodas are more dangerous because they are carbonated, which makes it acidic, resulting in cavities.


Just like coffee, tea also has staining saboteurs referred to as tannins. When you drink green tea, it stains gray, while black tea will be yellow. If you like green tea, consider trying a higher-quality option since the lower quality green tea causes more staining. You could also add a little milk to your tea whenever appropriate. When you add milk to your tea, the effect it has on your teeth is reduced.


While they are rich in anti-oxidants, they are notorious when it comes to staining your teeth. When dealing with superfoods, see how hard it is to remove when they stain your clothes, and you will know how difficult to remove from your teeth.

Red Wine

Red wine has caused many people’s teeth to turn shades of gray – which is way harder to remove than yellowish stains. Wine has tannins, just like coffee and tea.

Finally, if you notice stains on your teeth, then try cutting out foods that have been listed to every other day to see if there is any improvement.


Now let’s take a look at the best foods for your teeth …

Red and Green Apples

Fruits rich in fiber such as apples and pear are great because they will help in whitening your teeth. They usually boost the flow of saliva (which is important for keeping your teeth clean) and the fibers will help in removing some stains by scrubbing on the teeth. Make sure you have brushed your teeth after eating these fruits because they have sugars, which you don’t want to stick for long on your teeth.

Baking Soda

Using baking soda to scrub your teeth is a natural way of whitening teeth. Wet your brush then dip it into the powder. You should not do this on a daily basis. Baking soda has abrasive properties that can result in damage to the enamel. It Is suggested that weekly treatments are enough.


Strawberries have become a great option for people who are looking to whiten their teeth naturally. They have malic acid, which is good for teeth whitening. You mash strawberries and baking soda to make a DIY whitening solution. The science says it is going to work but know it will be temporary. This is because it doesn’t penetrate the enamel to provide long lasting results.


With every bite you take, you are helping fight cavities. When you eat cheese, it increases the pH level of your teeth, which leads to a lower risk for cavities.


Water will not only keep you hydrated, but it also helps with your teeth. Drinking water helps in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Drinking fluoridated water will help in battling tooth decay. If you are not able to brush your teeth after you have eaten, swish water around so you can clear acids and sugars.


In conclusion, we recommend always keeping healthy dental routines that include brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Regular checkups are also a good idea and will allow you the opportunity to discuss whitening options should you decide to take greater measures to whiten you smile!

Need to book a dentist visit?  Contact us today!

Make an Appointment

%d bloggers like this: