The Impact of Food and Drink on Teeth Staining
How Teeth Whitening Can Help

Teeth whitening can be cancelled out by stains produced by food and drinks. Many people want to have a bright, white smile, but staining can occur due to certain foods and drinks. Even with regular brushing and flossing, certain foods and beverages can cause discoloration of the teeth over time. In this article, we’ll explore the impact of food and drink on teeth staining and what you can do to prevent or minimize discoloration.

Food and Drinks that Cause Teeth Staining

There are many types of food and drink that can cause teeth staining. Here are a few examples:

  • Coffee and Tea: Coffee and tea contain tannins, which can cause discoloration of the teeth over time. These beverages can also dry out your mouth, reducing saliva production and promoting the growth of bacteria that can cause further staining.
  • Red Wine: Red wine is notorious for its staining ability. It contains chromogens, tannins, and acid, all of which can contribute to discoloration of the teeth.
  • Soda: Soda is highly acidic and contains sugar, which can promote the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. The acidity can also erode tooth enamel, making the teeth more susceptible to staining.
  • Berries: Berries are nutritious and delicious, but they can also cause staining. Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries all contain dark pigments that can stick to the teeth and cause discoloration.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is a common condiment in many Asian dishes, but it can also cause teeth staining. It contains dark pigments that can cling to the teeth.

Preventing Teeth Staining from Food and Drink

  • The best way to prevent teeth staining from food and drink is to avoid or limit the consumption of the items listed above. However, this is not always practical or desirable. Here are some tips to help minimize discoloration:
  • Brush and Floss Regularly: Brushing and flossing regularly can help remove surface stains before they have a chance to set in. Be sure to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent staining.
  • Rinse Your Mouth: After consuming food and drink that can cause staining, rinse your mouth with water or an antibacterial mouthwash. This will help wash away any pigments that may be clinging to your teeth.
  • Use a Straw: When drinking beverages that can cause staining, use a straw. This will help the liquid bypass your teeth and minimize the contact that can cause discoloration.
  • Chew Gum: Chewing sugar-free gum can help increase saliva production, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth and wash away food particles that can cause staining.

Teeth Whitening Options

  • If your teeth are already stained from food and drink, there are several teeth whitening options available. Here are some of the most popular:
  • In-Office Whitening: In-office teeth whitening is a popular option for those who want to see immediate results. Your dentist will apply a bleaching agent to your teeth and use a special light to activate the whitening process. This process is typically completed in one visit.
  • Take-Home Whitening Kits: Take-home whitening kits allow you to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home. Your dentist will provide you with custom-made trays and a bleaching gel. You’ll need to wear the trays for a specified amount of time each day for several weeks.
  • Over-the-Counter Whitening Products: There are many over-the-counter teeth whitening products available, including strips, gels, and toothpaste. While these products can be effective, they may not produce the same results as professional whitening.


In conclusion, food and drink can have a significant impact on the staining of teeth. Certain items, such as coffee, tea, red wine, soda, berries, and soy sauce, contain pigments and chemicals that can lead to discoloration over time. The best way to prevent staining is to avoid or limit the consumption of these items, and to practice good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing, and rinsing your mouth with water or an antibacterial mouthwash after consuming staining foods and drinks.

For those already experiencing teeth staining, there are several teeth whitening options available, including in-office whitening, take-home whitening kits, and over-the-counter whitening products. In-office whitening provides immediate results, while take-home kits allow for a more gradual process in the comfort of your own home. Over-the-counter products are also an option, but may not produce the same results as professional whitening.

It’s important to keep in mind that prevention is the best defense against teeth staining. By practicing good oral hygiene and avoiding or limiting consumption of staining foods and drinks, you can help keep your teeth bright and white. Additionally, if you have any concerns about teeth staining, you should speak with your dentist, who can provide you with additional guidance and recommend the best teeth whitening options for your needs. With proper care and attention, you can maintain a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.

Check out another article to learn everything you need to know about teeth whitening.

Have you ever wondered if the black spots on your teeth are cavities? If so, then be sure to check out our short article about this very topic. 

Your Colorado Springs Dental Hygienist is able to provide this teeth whitening service. A dentist is not required to perform this service.