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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Surprising Foods That Can Stain Your Teeth - May 16, 2017

Most of us already know that coffee, tea and tomato sauces can stain our teeth.  But we have a few others you might not have suspected:

Sports and Energy Drinks:  They can erode tooth enamel, setting the stage for stains.  Water is a better choice for your workouts.

WINE:  If a food or drink can stain a tablecloth, it can stain your teeth. It’s no surprise that red wine, an acidic drink known for its dark, rich color, will discolor teeth. But white wine, which has even more acid, also can.

Fruits and Berries:  Blueberries, blackberries, cherries, pomegranates, and other vibrant fruits can stain teeth. So can juices and pies made from them. Paler fruits, like white grapes and white cranberries, are less likely to cause stains. But they do have acid that can soften or weaken your enamel.

Soda, Cola, and Other Carbonated Drinks: Looking for a reason to cut back?  Thanks to the acids and dyes, these drinks -- even light-colored ones -- can lead to serious stains.  Plus the chemicals that add flavor can also eat away at your enamel.

Candy and Sweets:  If your favorite sweet -- like hard candy, chewing gum or a Popsicle -- makes your tongue change colors, it can also stain your teeth.  The good news is unless you eat those goodies often, they probably won't do too much harm to the color of your teeth.  But watch those sweets!  Even if they don't stain your teeth they could do more damage by causing cavities.
So what should you do if you like these
foods and drinks?
1.  Cut back. 
You may not want to cut all teeth-staining foods from your diet.  Many of them -- like blueberries, blackberries and tomato sauce -- are rich in antioxidants.  Keep eating them but maybe not as much, and opt for other sources like cauliflower, apples, grapefruit and melon.
2.  Use a straw. 
Sip stain-causing drinks like sodas, juices, and iced tea through a straw. This should keep the liquid away from your teeth.
3.  Rinse, then brush, after eating.  Swish your mouth with water right after you eat or drink something that can stain. Wait an hour before you brush after eating something with acid -- any sooner and you could hurt the enamel on your teeth. If you can’t get to your toothbrush, chew a piece of sugarless gum as soon as you’ve eaten.



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