Stain Causing Foods

One of the biggest questions we get from our patients is “why are my teeth stained”, followed closely by “can you remove it?”. While tooth stain can be prevented and treated, it is helpful to know just where your stain is coming from in the first place. Here are the top five stain causing foods, so you can find out just where your tooth staining maybe coming from.

1. Green tea

Believe it or not green tea is a bigger culprit for to staining, higher up than even than black tea or coffee. Green tea has a component called tannin that is the culprit for those pesky stains. Often people do not realize that their green tea is causing this staining on their teeth because it appears as a gray stain, often in rings around the gum line or between the teeth.

2. Coffee

Your delicious morning (afternoon) cup of coffee is a real stain causer. Like tea, coffee contains tannins that stain teeth. Coffee also is acidic, which compromises the tooth enamel. Often people will experience more tooth staining associated with coffee than other food or drinks simply because they tend to sip coffee throughout the day instead of finishing it in one sitting. The longer and more often teeth are exposed to the stain causer the more stained they will become.

3. Red Wine

Red Wine is another acidic drink that people enjoy sipping over longer periods of time. The acidity of wine compromises tooth enamel, making it more susceptible to stain. The delicious dark grapes that make wine red and stain clothes or tablecloths when spilled will also stain teeth.

4. Soda

As if tea, coffee, and red wine causing tooth stain wasn't bad news enough, we have to add soda to the list as well. Noticed a theme here? Acidic drinks that are dark in color and we tend to sip throughout the day are the biggest culprits for staining. Dark colored foods like berries can cause tooth stain but we tend to eat them in one sitting and be done. We have a habit of sipping drinks throughout the day, hence continuously exposing our teeth to the stain causing factor all day long.

5. Smoking

While smoking is not a food, it is absolutely one of the top five risk factors for tooth stain in patients. It is almost a guarantee that if a smoker is in the dental chair, they will have more stain to remove than other patients. Again, time and amount of exposure greatly determines how much tooth staining a person will have. The more tobacco and smoking products are in contact with the teeth, the more stained they will become.

How to Get Rid of Stain for Good

Stuck with tooth stain and want to finally get rid of it for good? We have positive news for you: we can remove it! During a dental cleaning our hygienists use tools to remove stain and return teeth to their natural appearance. We also offer professional whitening with custom trays fit to your smile and professional grade whitening gel to quickly and safely whiten your teeth.

There are also ways to help tooth stain at home. Like most health problems, prevention is key. This does not mean you have to give up your daily coffee habit, but there are little things you can do to make sure your indulgence doesn't compromise your teeth:

  • Drink it with a straw- drinking with a straw can help prevent teeth from being exposed continuously to your drink, making stain less severe.
  • Drink or eat in one sitting- finish off your stain-causing food or drink in one sitting and be done with it. Less time touching the teeth equals less opportunity for staying period.
  • Rinse with water- adding more water into your day can help cleanse the teeth, and bonus points for taking a swig of water after your gulp of coffee.
  • Use whitening toothpaste- utilizing whitening toothpaste and good home care habits and routines will greatly reduce, if not eliminate, tooth staining in between dental appointments.
  • Get your teeth cleaned- regular dental cleanings will remove tooth stain and prevent new future staining. Tooth stain creates a rough surface on the enamel that more stain easily sticks to. Tooth stain is a snowball effect- the more staining already on the enamel, the more stain will accumulate. Regular dental cleanings don't just keep your mouth healthy; they keep your smile stain free.

Call Spokane dental today at 509-822-5614 to schedule a cleaning or exam for your most beautiful smile yet.