Teeth-Staining Foods to Avoid

teeth whitening

We all know how important it is to look after our teeth, and a shiny set of pearly whites is often the first thing we notice about other people. What you eat can have a big impact on you achieving the coveted Hollywood smile, with even some healthy foods leading to tooth discoloration.

If you already have stains on your teeth then having a professional teeth whitening treatment is the most effective way to remove discoloration and lighten your teeth for a brighter smile. To avoid any further discoloration, read on for the common teeth-staining foods you should avoid.

Tea and Coffee

Tea and coffee are the worst culprits for staining teeth, partly because we consume them both so frequently. Although tannins are more commonly associated with wine, tea and coffee are both high in the substance – particularly black tea. The casein found in milk has been proven to significantly prevent and reduce staining caused by tea so make sure to add a dash to your next cup.

Red Wine

One of the usual suspects where teeth staining is concerned, the tannins that give red wine its distinctly dry taste are what cause it to leave a mark on your teeth. Along with tea and coffee, frequently drinking red wine is one of the most common causes of teeth stains. It should come as no surprise that if the tannins in red wine can latch onto your enamel and lead to staining that you should limit the number of grapes you eat too.

White Wine

If you thought that switching to white wine would be a good way to avoid teeth stains from wine, you’ll be surprised to find out that while white wine doesn’t actually cause staining, its high acid content can weaken your enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to future discoloration.


The rich and vibrant colors that make curries so tempting can stick around long after your meal is over as popular spices like turmeric are known for causing staining due to their rich pigment. Curry powder itself also has a high staining factor, so limit its use in your cooking or mix it in with vegetables that will help prevent tooth discoloration like cauliflower, celery, and carrots.


Fresh berries, jam, and berry juices will all play havoc with the color of your teeth. Dark berries like blackberries and blueberries contain an intensely pigmented substance called chromogen, which gives them their vivid color and has a tendency to latch onto tooth enamel. Not all berries will lead to staining though, and you’ll be pleased to hear that strawberries can actually help to remove plaque and debris – giving your teeth a whiter appearance. 

Balsamic Vinegar

It might be a healthy alternative to creamy salad dressings but balsamic vinegar has a high acidic content and dark color that can wear down and stain your enamel. The high sugar content of balsamic vinegar and balsamic glaze won’t be doing your teeth any favors either so it’s best to limit your consumption of both.


If you’ve ever had the misfortune of handling beetroot without gloves or dropping a piece onto fabric, you’ll know that the stain it leaves has an impressive staying power. Beetroot will stain your teeth in much the same way that it will stain fabric, whether it’s pickled, juiced, or eaten fresh.

Foods That are Good for Your Teeth

To combat foods in your diet that is likely to cause staining, there are many foods you can eat that are good for your teeth. Research suggests that eating cheese can lower the risk of cavities, and nuts can help to protect your teeth and keep them strong thanks to their high protein content.

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