3 Surprising Things That Can Stain Your Teeth


We all know what we eat and drink can affect our dental health, and many of us know certain foods and drinks can stain our teeth, such as berries, red wine, tea, and coffee. There are plenty of less widely-known culprits, though, and if you’re watching out for teeth stains, you’ll want to know about these, too.

It pays to be aware of possible causes of teeth stains. While stained teeth may be able to be whitened, you know the old saying … an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Knowing what can discolor your teeth is the first step toward avoiding stains. Here are some things you’ll want to keep in mind to help keep that smile pearly white.

3 Surprising Things That Can Stain Your Teeth

1. Sports drinks – Many people reach for popular sports drinks with exercise, but these drinks may damage teeth in multiple ways, including leaving teeth stains. In general, things that will stain your clothes will stain your teeth, so keep that in mind when choosing your workout beverages. (Water is always a healthy choice!)

2. Certain medications and antibiotics – Some common medications including tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth. Always discuss possible side effects with your doctor or pharmacist. There may be an alternative treatment available with fewer side effects.

3. Condiments – Things we add to our food, like soy sauce or balsamic vinegar, can add rich flavor and color to our plate. However, the addition can come with a price. The very ingredients that provide that rich color can leave teeth stains. Use soy sauce sparingly – it’s high in sodium, anyway. There is one bit of good news, though: if you use balsamic vinegar on a lettuce salad, the lettuce forms a barrier and protects your teeth.

“If you have teeth stains, don’t let it spoil your smile. Call our office to see how we can help,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix and the founder of Dr. Carol Ford & Associates. “Or, when you make your next preventive appointment with us, we’ll be happy to talk with you about what foods and drinks to avoid to keep your smile looking bright.”

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