Five foods that stain your teeth

Discoloured teeth can be unsightly, but you can keep your teeth white by avoiding certain foods that speed up the staining process.

Brushing your teeth twice a day, regular flossing and trips to the dentist can all ensure your chompers stay healthy, but if you want a bright, white smile, avoid the foods that can tint and tarnish your pearly whites.

1. Coffee
It should come as no surprise that coffee is one of the worst stain offenders when it comes to teeth. Coffee contains tannins (acidic polyphenols), which lead to staining and discolouration. But did you know drinking coffee with milk is better for your teeth than drinking it without milk? Not only does it further dilute the tannins, but the calcium and vitamin D in the milk help to keep your teeth strong.

2. Citrus fruits
Have you ever wondered why so many household cleaners are citrus based? The acidic content of citrus can cut through any grime; unfortunately, it is also great at wearing away the enamel of your teeth. If you have a high intake of acidic foods, the enamel will eventually wear away, exposing the yellowish tissue beneath.

3. Red wine
Of all the health benefits that red wine is said to provide, keeping your teeth white is not one of them. If you have ever looked in the mirror after downing a glass of shiraz or a cab sav, you will have noticed the immediate impact on your teeth. Red wine is heavy in tannins and can be responsible for turning your teeth grey. You can try switching to white wine, or swishing water around your mouth after drinking.

4. Blackberries and blueberries
If food stains are difficult to remove from your clothing, they are generally hard to remove from your teeth. Berries may be considered among the superfoods, but they are anything but super for your teeth. The antioxidants are extremely beneficial, so you shouldn’t stop eating them, but as with red wine, it can be useful to swish some water around in your mouth after eating them.

5. Lollies
The sugars in lollies and sweet snack foods can cling to your teeth long after you have finished eating them. While they remain in your mouth, bacteria will feed off them, which releases acid that leads to tooth decay and causes discolouration. If you are going to indulge in lollies, it is best to try and clean your teeth immediately afterwards.

Do you have any tips for keeping your teeth nice and white?

Written by Ben

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