Keep Your Teeth White By Avoiding These Foods and Drinks By Ben Hayes on January 12, 2022

If you’ve noticed discoloration in your teeth and wondered why it could be happening to you, you’re in the right place! In today’s post you’ll learn why tooth discoloration happens, 10 foods/drinks to avoid, and how to get a whiter smile back if you’ve lost some of your luster!

What causes tooth staining

Tooth enamel is a porous material, and discoloration is caused by your teeth absorbing pigments or tannins from foods or drinks. The truth is, all food causes tooth discoloration, but the level and intensity of color in your food or beverage has a significant effect on the level of discoloration it will cause. Additionally, acidic foods can wear down the enamel exposing the dentin below, which has a more yellow hue. Finally, warm temperatures can cause the enamel of your teeth to be more vulnerable to staining. So while a warm glass of water may not stain your teeth, one filled with food coloring certainly could. 

Foods that Stain Teeth

Tomato Based Sauces

Tomato based sauces are fairly pigmented already and contain a very high acidic content. This potent combination can give a yellow stain and erode your teeth, which in turn can lead to more staining in the future. Though the tomato is an incredibly healthy and convenient staple it is important to keep in mind how much you are consuming if you’d like to keep your teeth white as possible.

Balsamic Vinegar

Similarly to tomato sauce this acidic and dark combination is a powerful tooth stainer. Causing a darker stain, rather than a yellow one, this discoloration can be tricky to deal with if ignored for too long.

Soy Sauce

Unlike our former foods, soy sauce is not an especially acidic food, so you don’t have to worry about your enamel being eroded. Unlike our other foods soy sauce has such a powerful coloration and intensity of color that it will stain your teeth anyway! If you are concerned about keeping your teeth as white as possible, it would be best to minimize your use of it where possible.  


Dark berries offer many health benefits, but the deep hue of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and other dark fruits such as pomegranates are powerful tooth stainers. No matter what form they are consumed in, their vivid colors will very likely be tinting your teeth if you consume too much. Even lighter colored fruits are typically more acidic, and have the potential to erode enamel and increase risk of tooth discoloration. However, strawberries are the exception and can actually naturally whiten your teeth!

Candy and Artificial Dye 

If you’ve eaten candy and noticed your tongue is now a funny color, it is also likely doing the same thing to your teeth (although to a lesser degree.) Artificial dyes that go in candy, and also many other foods, are staining compounds that can and will stick around on your teeth.


For similar reasons as above, drinking coffee, tea, wine, or sodas can leave your teeth stained with their acidic and pigmented qualities. It is best to limit your intake of these beverages if you are trying to keep your smile at its brightest.

Ways to Avoid Staining Teeth

Though the above foods and beverages can stain teeth you don’t necessarily have to give them up. Here’s a couple tips to keep your teeth a gorgeous pearly white!

  1. Rinse and brush after eating or drinking foods or beverages that can stain teeth.
  2. Use a straw.
  3. Don't let drinks sit in your mouth.
  4. Cut the soda and candy. (Prioritize healthy foods that can stain.)
  5. Visit your dentist regularly.

Now that you know everything you need, prevention can begin! However, If you’re already suffering from discoloration professional options are available. At each and every Stubbs Dental office we have trained professionals that can whiten teeth and help give you back the smile you want!  Make an appointment at our office, contact us online or call (801) 753-9676 today.

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Stubbs Dental Implant Center

Your smile is one of your greatest assets. Give it the dental care it deserves to stay beautiful and healthy for years to come. At Stubbs Dental Implant Center, our dentists have the training, technology, and services to treat your entire family's needs in one office. Our dentists are some of the most awarded in Utah, and their accomplishments include:  

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