20 Foods and Drinks that Stain Your Teeth

20 Foods and Drinks that Stain Your Teeth Top 20 Foods and Drinks that Stain Teeth How to Remove and Prevent Stains on Teeth

A bright, healthy smile is a must. And although your morning java and berry compote can deliver on fuel and nutrition, they can leave your pearly whites, well, not so white. From acid to dark pigments, here’s a list of the top 20 foods and drinks that can stain your teeth and what you can do to whiten your smile.

Top 20 Foods and Drinks that Stain Teeth


One of the biggest teeth-staining culprits is coffee. Its dark hue paired with tannins, a chemical compound that that causes stains to adhere to your teeth, are the primary reasons why the caffeinated beverage leaves teeth discolored. Plus, if you take your cup of joe with sugar, you’re introducing additional acids and bacteria into your mouth that eat away at enamel and damage gums.


Similarly, to a cappuccino or latte, teas contain tannins which help stains stick to teeth. To help keep those stains from taking root on your tooth’s enamel, try brushing with a whitening toothpaste Crest Gum & Enamel Repair Advanced Whitening Toothpaste. Its foam formula repairs enamel, neutralizes plaque bacteria, and lifts surface stains for a brighter, healthier smile.

Red Wine

Just like coffee and tea, red wine contains tannins. Red wine also houses a mix of natural dyes and acids. The acid can eat away at your tooth’s outer layer, the enamel, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to staining.

White Wine

The acids in white wine can take away the white from your pearly whites. Acids can erode your enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to sensitivity, decay, and staining.


Not only does soda often have an abundance of sugars, which can give even more fuel to the bacteria in your mouth, they also contain acid. Even the sugarless versions of soda can leave teeth stained thanks to their acidic content.


Sugars in most fruit juices can offer up a breeding room for bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, some fruit juices such as cranberries and pomegranates, contain dark pigments that can stick on teeth and leave them discolored.

Sports Drinks

Energy or sports drinks are known for their enamel-eroding properties. It’s best to steer clear of these as to help keep your enamel intact.


Although curry sauces can be delightful for your tastebuds, they do contain deep pigmentation that can soak into the porous surfaces of your teeth. Be sure to brush after eating or carry a whitening pen if you’re dining out.


Lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus-based foods may be loaded with nutrients, but they can wreak havoc on your teeth. Acids in citrus can erode enamel and leave the yellow-tinted layer underneath, known as dentin, exposed.


Berries rich with dark pigments such as blueberries, blackberries, and cherries can leave your teeth stained. However, it is not necessary to remove this antioxidant (and healthy) berries from your diet altogether. Instead, swish your mouth with water afterward or brush with an enamel repair toothpaste to keep your smile bright.

Sweets and Candy

Sugars really do rot your teeth, it’s not just a saying. Hard candies, cookies, frosting and everything in between all lead to tooth decay. As sugars stick on teeth they become food for bacteria, releasing tooth decaying-acids. Try to limit your sugar intake and be sure to follow a thorough oral hygiene routine to help keep tooth decay at bay.

Tomato Sauce

You don’t have to give up pizza or spaghetti sauce all together, but tomato-based sauces often contain acids that can eat away at your teeth leaving them stained. Try brushing after meals or swipe on Crest Whitening Emulsions any time you’re dining out to help keep your teeth stain-free.

Balsamic Vinegar

If it can stain your clothes or even a napkin then it can stain your teeth. Dark pigmented sauces and acidic vinegars, both traits found in balsamic vinegar, can erode enamel, and set up staining shops on your teeth.


Not surprisingly the main ingredient in wine can also leave a tint on your pearly whites. The dark pigmentation in grapes can burrow into the porous surfaces of your teeth and stain them in the process. Simply be sure to use a good whitening toothpaste to better fight off any staining these fruits can leave behind.


Beets stain, period. From the cutting board to your fingers, and especially your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth after eating can help keep those beet stains away from your smile.

Frozen Popsicles

Similar to juices, most popsicles are made from acidic fruits and contain sugars which can be damaging to your teeth. Neutralize plaque acids after enjoying the sweet treat with a fluoridated toothpaste and you’re good to go.

Soy Sauce

Just like balsamic, soy sauce is very dark in its pigmentation. Make sure to brush after eating and keep with a good oral hygiene routine so those pigments don’t set up shop on your teeth.


Exactly like blueberries and blackberries, pomegranates are high in antioxidants. But they do contain dark pigments that can stain teeth. By maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, you can enjoy the health benefits of pomegranates while also helping to ensure they don’t leave any stains behind.

Starchy Foods

Foods like bread and pasta are high in starches which is beloved by bacteria. To help keep tooth decay and staining away, try brushing after meals and floss at least once every day.

Food Coloring

Chemicals in food coloring are specifically used to change something from color to another, so it’s no wonder they can stain teeth as well. Often food coloring is also paired with sugar, creating a double whammy on the appearance and health of your smile.

How to Remove and Prevent Stains on Teeth

Teeth stains happen, but there are several things you can do to remove unwanted hues from your teeth and keep your smile healthy.

  • Teeth whitening strips like Crest 3DWhitestrips with LED Light can help remove over 15 years of tough, set-in stains. This at-home treatment is ADA-accepted, safe and effective when it comes to whitening your smile.
  • Teeth whitening pens are a great go-to, especially when you’re on the move. Crest Whitening Emulsions can help reveal a brighter smile fast. Plus, when paired with an LED accelerator light, the whitening formula can further break down stains more rapidly for even better teeth whitening results.
  • Whitening and gum care toothpaste can help remove surface stains while also protecting your gum line. Crest Gum Detoxify + Whitening 2-step Toothpaste helps neutralize plaque bacteria around the gum line to treat and prevent early gum disease. Pair the whitening toothpaste with 3DWhitestrips for ultimate teeth whitening.
  • Switch to an electric toothbrush equipped with a whitening mode like the award-winning Oral-B iO Series 9. It gently polishes away surface stains and delivers a whole-mouth clean.
  • Swish with a whitening rinse like Crest 3D White Diamond Strong Mouthwash. The unique formula can also help protect your gums from the early stages of gum disease and strengthen enamel.
  • Be sure to see your dental professional every 6 months for cleanings and checkups.

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To continue to maintain a bright and healthy smile it’s important to follow a thorough, daily oral hygiene routine of brushing 2X/day for 2 minutes and flossing at least 1X/day.

Depending on the state of your smile, the right course of stain-fighting action to take can vary. Speak to your dental professional about which teeth whitening method is best for you.



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