- Coffee and tea stain your teeth because they contain compounds like polyphenols that can penetrate your enamel.
- Dark-colored sodas are extremely acidic and artificially colored, which can make your teeth yellow.
- To prevent staining, be sure to brush and floss regularly and rinse your mouth out with water after eating or drinking.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
The enamel, or outer layer of your teeth, helps protect your teeth from cavities and wear and tear from chewing, but it can’t always fend off stains.
This is because your enamel is porous, meaning that it can soak up the colorful pigments in your foods or drinks, leading to stains.
Here are 12 of the most common tooth-staining foods and drinks:
Teeth-staining foods and drinks
Turns out, you can sometimes tell which foods will stain your teeth just by their color. That’s because brightly colored food often contains stronger pigments that are the main culprits when it comes to tooth stains.
“Anything that your mom would yell at you for spilling on the white tablecloth will stain your teeth,” says Matthew Messina, DDS, a professor of dental practice at Ohio State University.
More acidic foods and drinks are also likely to stain your teeth, says Mark Burhenne, DDS, a dentist in private practice. This is because acids can weaken your enamel and make it more porous, allowing stains to soak in.
Here are 12 common foods and drinks that can stain your teeth:
1. Coffee contains organic compounds called polyphenols that create its brown color, says Burhenne. Polyphenols can penetrate and attach to your enamel, making your teeth gradually take on a browner color.
2. Tea contains tannins, a type of polyphenol that often has a yellow or brownish color. When tannins penetrate your enamel, they often create a greenish or greyish hue in your teeth, Burhenne says.
3. Red wine contains tannins and red pigments that come from the skin and seeds of grapes. Red wine stains act much like coffee, Burhenne says, penetrating into your enamel.
4. Tomato sauces are acidic, which can gradually wear away tooth enamel. When this happens, “the red color is taken up in the enamel as it becomes more porous,” Messina says.
5. Berries: “Berries are often dark colored, same as red wines,” Messina says. For this reason, the strong pigments found in fruits like raspberries and blueberries can stay behind on your enamel.
6. Fruit juice: More pigmented fruit juices like cranberry or pomegranate juice are generally the worst when it comes to stains on your teeth, Burhenne says….