Teeth Staining Foods (Full List & How To Avoid)

Foods that stain teeth can be a real problem for many people. While some staining is a natural part of aging, others are caused by certain foods and drinks. Staining can be caused by a variety of factors such as poor oral hygiene, genetics, and lifestyle choices.

Some of the most common foods that stain teeth include coffee, tea, red wine, and berries. These foods contain pigments that can cause discoloration and staining over time.

Other foods that are known to cause staining include tomato sauce, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar.

While it can be difficult to completely avoid foods that stain teeth, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the damage. Brushing and flossing regularly, using a whitening toothpaste, and avoiding tobacco products can all help to prevent staining.

Additionally, consuming foods that naturally clean teeth such as apples, celery, and carrots can help to keep teeth looking their best.

What Causes Teeth Staining

Teeth staining can be caused by a variety of factors.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Food and Drinks: Certain foods and drinks contain pigments that can stain teeth over time. For example, coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored sodas can all contribute to teeth staining.
  • Tobacco Use: Smoking or chewing tobacco can also cause teeth staining. The nicotine and tar in tobacco can leave brownish-yellow stains on teeth.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene: Not brushing and flossing regularly can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth, which can cause staining. Skipping professional dental cleanings can also allow stains to start.
  • Age: As people age, the outer layer of enamel on teeth can wear away, revealing the yellowish dentin underneath. This can make teeth appear discolored.
  • Genetics: Some people may be more prone to teeth staining due to genetics. For example, some people naturally have thicker or more porous enamel, which can make teeth more susceptible to staining.

While teeth staining can be unsightly, it is usually not a serious health concern. However, it can be a sign of poor dental hygiene or other underlying dental problems.

If you are concerned about teeth staining or discoloration, it is always a good idea to talk to your dentist.

Foods That Stain Teeth

Many foods and beverages can cause teeth staining, but some are more likely to do so than others.

Here are some of the most common culprits:


Dark-colored beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine can cause teeth staining over time. Soda and sports drinks, which are high in sugar and acid, can also erode tooth enamel and make teeth more susceptible to staining.

Fruits and Vegetables

Some fruits and vegetables contain natural pigments that can stain teeth. For example, berries, cherries, and pomegranates are all known to cause staining. Other culprits include beets, tomatoes, and dark leafy greens.

Sauces and Condiments

Sauces and condiments such as soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and tomato sauce can all cause teeth staining. These foods are often acidic and can erode tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to staining.

Other Foods

Other foods that can cause teeth staining include curry, turmeric, and dark chocolate. These foods contain natural pigments that can stick to teeth and cause discoloration over time.

To minimize the impact of these foods on teeth, it’s important to brush and floss regularly, and to rinse the mouth with water after consuming staining foods and beverages.

Additionally, consuming foods that help clean teeth, such as apples, celery, and carrots, can help remove surface stains and keep teeth looking their best.

How to Prevent Teeth Staining

Dental Hygiene

Good dental hygiene is essential for preventing teeth staining. Brushing teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can help remove surface stains and prevent them from setting in.

Regular dental cleanings can also help remove stubborn stains that brushing and flossing cannot remove.

Dietary Changes

Some foods and drinks are known to cause teeth staining. Limiting or avoiding these can help prevent stains from forming. Dark-colored beverages such as coffee, tea, and red wine can stain teeth, as can acidic drinks like soda and fruit juices.

Using a straw when drinking these beverages can help minimize contact with teeth. Foods that are high in sugar, such as candy and soda, can also contribute to staining.

Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Professional Teeth Whitening

If teeth staining is already present, professional teeth whitening may be an option. This involves using a bleaching agent to remove stains and whiten teeth.

It is important to consult with a dentist before undergoing any whitening treatment, as some methods may not be appropriate for everyone.

Overall, preventing teeth staining involves a combination of good dental hygiene, dietary changes, and professional treatment when necessary.


Overall, there are many foods and drinks that can stain teeth. Dark-colored beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine are among the biggest culprits, along with brightly colored fruits like berries and pomegranates.

However, there are also many ways to prevent or reduce staining, such as drinking through a straw, brushing and flossing regularly, and eating foods that naturally clean teeth.

It’s important to note that while some foods and drinks may cause staining, they are not necessarily bad for your health.

In fact, many of the foods that stain teeth are also packed with important nutrients and antioxidants that can benefit your overall health. As with most things, moderation is key.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of your teeth, there are many options for whitening, from over-the-counter products to professional treatments.

However, it’s important to talk to your dentist before trying any new whitening products, as some can be damaging to your teeth or gums if used improperly.

Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene habits and making smart food and drink choices can go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy and bright.

By being mindful of what you eat and drink, and taking good care of your teeth, you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.

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