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6 Foods and Drinks That Are Darkening Your Smile

6 Foods and Drinks That Are Darkening Your Smile

Turn on the television or walk into almost any drugstore, and you can see just how big the business of teeth whitening has become. And for good reason — it’s just more fun to smile when you love how your teeth look, and the more you smile, the more people are drawn to you.

At Chester Family Dentistry, our team, led by Dr. Ana Chester, offers professional teeth whitening, which yields far better results than over-the-counter products can. Our products can lighten your teeth by up to eight shades in just one in-office treatment. We also provide custom-made trays you can use to whiten your teeth at home. 

However, after your professional treatment, you want to keep those pearly whites looking fantastic. In this post, we discuss some of the common culprits when it comes to staining your teeth. Limiting these foods and beverages that can darken your smile helps you maintain your whitening results. 

1. Coffee, tea and red wine

You probably already know these beverages can stain teeth, but do you know why? They all contain dark pigments and also acids that can soften your enamel. The acids make it easier for the pigmentation to discolor your teeth. 

In addition, red wine contains tannins that help the pigments adhere to the surface of your teeth, which makes staining even more likely. 

2. Condiments

Soy sauce and salad dressings are delicious! But they can also leave a darkening residue on your teeth. Other condiments, such as mustard, can leave a yellow or reddish stain behind. Usually one serving won’t cause a problem, but if you eat these foods regularly, the stains can build up and become noticeable.

3. Sodas

Most sodas and energy drinks contain high concentrations of sugar and also various acids. Those ingredients can weaken your enamel, and combined with dark colorings, sodas present a triple threat to your white teeth. 

4. Some berries

Dark colored berries like blueberries and blackberries are good for you, but they’re not so great for keeping your teeth white. They leave behind a sticky residue that’s particularly visible between your teeth or along your gum line. 

5. Additives

Manufacturers want your food to look appealing, and in pursuit of that goal, they often add colors to foods. Just as the natural color of dark berries can stain your teeth, so can artificial colors added to foods. Limiting foods with added color is a good policy, especially if they’re sticky or sugary foods. 

6. Some fruits

Citrus fruits and strawberries have significant health benefits, but they also soften your enamel. Although not all fruits cause stains themselves, acidic fruits make it easier for other foods and beverages to cause stains. 

About a half-hour after eating citrus or strawberries, your enamel is strong again, so it may be a good idea to avoid consuming other foods and drinks that may cause stains for a half hour or so. 

Stain prevention techniques

Because there are so many health benefits to foods like blueberries and citrus, you may not want to cut them out of your diet to maintain your whitened teeth. Instead, consider rinsing your mouth after eating them in order to remove any dark pigments or acids.

We always encourage our patients to follow a healthy home hygiene routine that includes brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. You should also have your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular basis. 

If you’d like to learn about teeth whitening or other ways you can maintain your bright smile, schedule an appointment at Chester Family Dentistry. We’re always happy to help you love your smile!

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