- Green Juice
I watched a documentary on getting skinny by “juicing” and “eating less”–so I bought a juicer. I had heard that green juice, made with kale and spinach, was supposed to be really good for you (it’s also the grossest kind you can make, go figure). It wasn’t long before I noticed dark staining behind my bottom front teeth. Pulverized greens actually release more pigment that can cause staining. It was a great reason to quit juicing and go back to my burger diet.
- Coffee & Tea
I can’t fathom a day where I don’t drink at least two cups of coffee in the morning. According to the Crest website, it’s actually the tannins in coffee and tea that are responsible for staining. Tannins are a naturally occurring chemical compound found mostly in plants, barks, leaves, and fruit skins. Unfortunately, adding milk to your coffee or tea does not minimize the staining as it doesn’t change the amount of tannins.
- Tomato Sauces
This one is kind of a double whammy. Tomato sauce is pretty pigmented which can give your teeth a yellowish hue. They are also very acidic which means that they can erode your enamel and expose pores. Acid can also “roughen” up your enamel which makes it easier for more colorful gunk to stick to your teeth.
- Red Wine
Same as with the tannins in coffee and tea. Opt for the occasional white wine or do it like my old Aunt Cassie: drink your red wine from a box with a straw.
There’s nothing I like better than a mixed berry pie. Or mixed berry anything, really. Berries are like tomatoes in that you have to watch out for the acidity as well as the pigment.
Turmeric is a delightful and delicious root spice used in a lot of eastern cuisines. It’s also bright yellow and known for staining everything. Countertops, fingers, plates, clothes, etc. I once had a temporary crown that was stained canary yellow after eating dinner at an Indian restaurant!
- Soy Sauce & Sriracha
Both are pigmented and delicious. I lumped these together because I add them to almost all of my meals. They’re like two peas and a pod or a wink and a nod.
- Dark Balsamic Vinegar
Dark balsamic will throw their heavy pigment on your teeth without thinking twice. When cooked on low to make a syrup, the vinegar, which is of course acidic, becomes like a sticky magnet to your teeth.
Compounds in dark colas can do a number on your white teeth but the acidity also plays a part. It doesn’t matter if you’re drinking RC Cola or Sprite, the acidity will still fizzle away your enamel and leave it susceptible to staining. Fun fact: Did you know that the recipe for Coca Cola was never patented? If they patented it, they would have make their recipe public.
- Tobacco Use
I know, I know, not a food. But I think it’s so important to continue mentioning that smoking or chewing tobacco are so detrimental to your oral health. Smoking has long been known to deposit a sticky, tar-like gunk on the surface of your teeth and requires some diligent scrubbing on your hygienist’s part to get it removed. Who wants to kiss that?!
Think of your teeth as a white t-shirt when it comes to staining or discoloration: anything that will stain a white shirt will likely also stain those chompers.
Already done some damage and can’t cut out the coke-a-cola. No worries! We got you 🙂 Check out our blog about at home whitening options or ask us about our KOR whitening treatment! :)