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Foods that stain your teeth

If you’ve invested time, effort and money in achieving the perfect smile through braces, the last thing you want to do is taint those pearly whites.

And the truth is there are a host of foods many of us consume each and every day which can do exactly that. From citrus that affects your enamel, to coffee that yellows your smile, here is a list of foods that can potentially stain your teeth.

Citrus and acid

While a touch of lemon in your water won’t have too great an effect, the prolonged and extensive consumption of citrus can have a negative impact on your teeth. That’s because the high acid level in this healthy little number can wear away tooth enamel, leaving your teeth looking a little more yellow, and more prone to decay.


Those who like a morning pick-me-up may be saddened to learn that coffee is one of the prime suspects when it comes to tooth staining. The problem with coffee is the tannins within it, but the fact it alters the acid levels in your mouth also has ongoing effects.

This altered PH level may mean any acidic foods you consume afterwards are likely to damage teeth more quickly.


Like coffee, tea contains tannins that can stain teeth with prolonged use. Some even believe that seemingly innocuous cup of tea is more likely to stain your teeth than coffee, because the tannin content is higher.


You can almost consider lollies the sworn enemy of healthy teeth, and yes extensive consumption can lead to staining. That’s because not only are lollies high in sugar, they can leave a residue on your teeth. This in turn can promote decay leaving unsightly holes and spots.

Meanwhile, if you currently have braces, lollies are best avoided. In addition to promoting decay, hard or chewy lollies can damage those brackets and wires.

Red wine

Here’s a tip for the red wine drinkers out there, your glass of red is doing no favours for your teeth. Like tea and coffee, red wine is high in tannins that can leave your teeth looking grey. This hue is harder to remove than yellow, so ease up on the Merlot in the interests of your smile.


Berries are considered a super food but may not be quite so super for your teeth, especially those that are high in pigment, such as pomegranates, blueberries and mulberries.

Soft drink

Much column space has been dedicated to the negative impacts of soft drink, and we’re going to chalk up a little more here. Like lollies, soft drinks leave a sugary residue on your teeth, but it’s even worse when you consume caffeine laden drinks like cola. The tannins present in cola, and the pigment in red soft drink just love to leave their mark.

How to avoid staining

The best advice to avoid tooth staining is to moderate consumption of items most likely to discolour your teeth. Meanwhile, good oral hygiene plays a role.

If you must consume the foods listed above, swish your mouth out with water straight afterwards, and clean your teeth two or three times a day.

Don’t forget to floss, either, as items like lollies have a habit of getting between teeth where they can leave you prone to decay.

About Norwest Orthodontics

Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping patients achieve a great smile, no matter their age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.

You can learn more about our services, or contact us to make an appointment.


Foods that stain your teeth

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