Common medical questions and answers through blogs and articles

Are Stained Teeth Unhealthy Teeth?

You want white teeth and a dazzling smile, so should you forego those blueberries so that your pearly whites stay that way?  Or drop that jolt of java from your morning routine because it might stain your teeth?  And, if you unwind with a glass of cabernet sauvignon, surely your purplish lips and tongue must mean that your teeth are also being stained, right?  Do you need to give up all these treats?  If you are concerned about teeth staining and want to learn more about teeth whitening you should contact a dentist who does teeth whitening.  A top Clearwater cosmetic dentist will answer all of your teeth whitening questions and will suggest ways to keep you teeth healthy and white.

Everything in moderation

Blueberries are full of anti-oxidants and the good they do for your health, far outweighs the small staining which essentially is counter-acted by at least twice-yearly visit to the hygienist, or the occasional teeth-whitening process at your dentist office.  Blueberries are considered the “brain berry” according James Joseph, Ph.D., lead scientist in the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.  Not only does the blueberry boost your brain, but it helps lower blood cholesterol, promote urinary tract health, thwart cardiovascular disease and help prevent cancer.  Wash and eat those blueberries on your morning cereal to protect your overall health.

Coffee gives you that coveted morning jolt and keeps you humming along through the day.  Is it bad for your teeth, especially if you enjoy a rich dark roast, sans cream?  For the most part, your dentist knows if you have a “coffee habit” by the rear surfaces of your front and eyeteeth – and, who else is looking in your mouth with a dental mirror anyway?  You can always add a splash of cream to tone down the dark hues in your cup for the sake of your teeth.

The consumption of red wine in moderation benefits your health.  Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, which helps prevent heart disease and the growth of cancerous cells.  Did you know that drinking red wine can greatly lower the risk of breast cancer in women?  Red wine also contains quercetin, which prevents lung cancer.

Yes, a little staining of the teeth may occur, but, really – can you argue that the above three stain-producing foods don’t help to keep you healthy?  There are other food and beverages that will stain your teeth, and, you could eliminate them or have them as occasional treats instead.

Keep teeth white

Certain foods and beverages may discolor your teeth.  You might remember enjoying a grape popsicle as a child and afterward laughing with your friends about your purple mouths and tongues.  But, that purplish fun and color eventually wore off, but, it is not the same for teeth because teeth are porous making them extremely susceptible to stains.

Foods that stain teeth


  • Berries – Blueberries are one of the main culprits for staining teeth, but other dark-hued berries like cranberries, blackberries and raspberries, also tend to stain your teeth, whether eaten whole or enjoyed as jelly or jam, or even juice. But, their antioxidant properties are superb, so, to counteract the staining effect, don’t let berries linger in the mouth too long and after you’ve finished eating them, drink water.  Better yet, after enjoying your berries, have a glass of milk or a serving of hard cheese, both will neutralize the acid and strengthen the teeth.
  • Balsamic vinegar – You might have switched from creamy salad dressings to this healthier alternative, but its dark color will stain your teeth over time, if not quickly brushed away. But, the good news is that you generally pour balsamic vinegar dressing over lettuce.  Chewing the lettuce helps counteract the staining left behind from the balsamic vinegar.
  • Pasta sauce – The acid in the tomato sauce on your favorite pasta clings to your teeth for dear life long after you have laid down your fork. But, if you enjoy some dark green veggies like broccoli, kale and spinach, before tackling your spaghetti, it will create a protective film over the teeth, thus warding off the staining effect by the tomato.
  • Curry – If you like the spice curry, found in Indian food or some exotic dishes, it is also known to tint teeth yellow over time. So, when dining on curry-spiced food, try to include some fresh fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, cauliflower and celery in your  meal to prevent staining.
  • Popsicles – Sucking on a dark popsicle will transfer all the color directly to your teeth. Grape or cherry may be your favorites, but why not opt for lighter colors like lemon-flavored instead?
  • Hard candy – Likewise hard candy’s colorants will also embed right into the porous enamel of your teeth. If you must have a “sweet fix”, sugarless gum with no artificial colorants is your best bet.
  • Beverage – Just like food, beverages will also wreak your dazzling smile. It is the acidity in coffee, tea, sodas, sports drinks and wine that cause tint your teeth.  It is recommended that you use a straw to keep teeth-staining beverages directly away from your teeth.  That is easy and doable, right?

If you think switching from a darker to lighter beverages might help, think again.  For example, tea is tea and whether it is black, green or white, it will stain teeth and erode enamel due to the acidity.  Likewise, fruit juices, soda and sports drinks of all colors will eventually cause stained teeth and enamel erosion over time, not to mention that the citric acids in regular soda is packed with sugar which will cause tooth decay.  And, while you might be willing to forego the health benefits of red wine and choose white wine to preserve your dazzling smile – white wine has more acidity than its red counterpart.

It’s no fun knowing that some of the tastiest foods and beverages are wrecking your pearly whites is it?  And who wants to order a glass of milk when at a restaurant enjoying a glass of wine with friends or family?  To keep that bright smile, take the above tooth whitening tips to heart and by limiting your intake of stain-producing foods and beverages, you will preserve your smile and help your oral health immensely.

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