Believe it or not, you could be making your smile look worse without even knowing it. How? Many common foods and drinks can actually stain teeth, making them look off-color and unhealthy. Nearly one-third of people say they’re “concerned by the look of their teeth,” and one of the main reasons for this is a smile that isn’t quite as white as it could be. If you want to keep your smile looking healthy and clean, here are a few foods and drinks to avoid.
- Coffee: Your favorite morning beverage could actually be responsible for an off-color smile. While many people use coffee to help them wake up in the morning, you might want to skip your next cup; if you can’t get that coffee stain out of your shirt, imagine what it’s doing to your teeth.
- Tea: If you’re thinking about switching to tea for your caffeine fix, think again. Certain types of tea, specifically darker teas, can stain just as bad as coffee does. Some types of tea aren’t quite as harmful though. Look for white teas or green teas if you do want to drink tea.
- Tomato sauce: This surprising addition to the list isn’t due to its color. Tomato sauce is particularly acidic, which can wear down the enamel on your teeth. Once that happens, other foods and drinks can stain your teeth more easily. This is true of all tomato products, but especially sauce.
- Blueberries: While this fruit might be especially good for you, the same antioxidants that can help you might be hurting your smile. Foods high in antioxidants tend to also be darker in color, making them more likely to stain. If you do eat blueberries, be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to avoid stained teeth is to visit your dentist. A trip to the dentist can help you lighten any stains on your teeth with regular cleaning, and your dentists can help you avoid further dental issues as well. If you’ve been eating or drinking a lot of any of these foods or beverages, you might want to contact your dentist to schedule a cleaning.