You probably know that the food you eat and certain drinks can have a real impact on your teeth. Nothing should stand in the way of your beautiful smile, and some foods that can stain your teeth might surprise you. Once you've established a firm whitening routine, you may want to update your diet to avoid these five foods that stain teeth.
1. Balsamic Vinegar
You love your salads, but be careful of what your choice of dressing can do to your teeth. It feels like balsamic should be the healthier alternative to bottled salad dressings, but its deep natural color can be pretty hard on your teeth. Balsamic vinegar tends to stick to your enamel when you eat it, so make sure to chew the lettuce in the salad a few times to clean it off after each bite.
Berries are packed with antioxidants that are great for your overall health, but their deep hues can leave their mark on your pearly whites. Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries all cause staining whether you're just munching, drinking them as a juice or eating them in a jam on toast. Rinse with water to combat their staining effect or finish your meal with a glass of milk or a serving of hard cheese. Dairy neutralizes the acid the tart fruits leave in your mouth.
3. Pasta Sauce
Tomatoes are highly acidic and become a deep red once they're reduced into a thick sauce. They tend to cling on, making your teeth more vulnerable to staining. Try munching on some dark green veggies like broccoli, kale or spinach before you eat. Believe it or not, these foods will create a protective film over the teeth to ward off staining.
Curry, the beloved spice that frequents Indian food, is deeply pigmented. If you eat it too frequently, you might end up with yellowing teeth. Try to limit the amount of curry in your diet. When you do enjoy curry-spiced food, accompany the dish with fresh fruits and vegetables that prevent stains, such as apples, carrots, cauliflower and celery.
A number of drinks cause staining because they're so acidic. Coffee, tea, soda, sports drinks, wine ... all of them have been shown to stain teeth and erode enamel. The yellowish layer beneath the enamel, called the dentin, may show through if the enamel is too thin.
When it comes to drinks, it's not just the darker hues you have to look out for. There are some light-colored culprits too. White tea can erode your enamel and white wine is even more acidic than red! Try to limit your intake. When you do have them, swish with water to get off as much residue as you can. Whenever possible, use a straw to limit the liquid's contact with your teeth.
How to Keep Your Smile Bright
Be wary of these five foods that stain teeth, but don't deprive yourself of all your favorite food and drinks. The Mayo Clinic says that one of the easiest options for any discoloring you might already have, especially those caused by external staining, is a whitening toothpaste. Brush with a whitening toothpaste that contains Fluoride that will keep your teeth healthy while whitening. Colgate® Optic White® Express White Toothpaste is safe for daily use, provides anti-cavity fluoride protection, and you'll start to get whiter teeth in 3 days*. Try using with Colgate® Optic White® Powered Toothbrush, which polishes away surface stains each time you brush.
Remember, your smile is your best asset. It's worth the extra effort to keep it bright and beautiful!
*For best results, continue to use as directed