According to Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS, there are two types of stains: surface stains, which can be professionally polished off by your hygienist, and internal staining, which means the stain has been absorbed by your enamel. “But, before thinking about foods that tend to stain teeth, take a deeper look at what your enamel looks like,” he says. “Is it shiny or dull? Are there fillings that show in the front of your mouth? Are your front teeth bonded with composite resin? A rule of thumb is that shiny enamel tends to stain less and dull enamel tends to be more susceptible to food stains.” No matter what the circumstances may be, there are many ways—both at-home and in the office—to get your teeth looking bright and shiny again.
Seasonings Popular in the wellness space, turmeric can actually be a big culprit for stains, along with other yellow spices like mustard powder, says New York cosmetic dentist Irene Grafman, DDS. Though the spice has actually been touted as a teeth-whitener on social media, the American Dental Association says there's no proof of such. To avoid any potential discoloration, Dr. Field suggests consuming the ingredient in tablet form whenever possible.
Pasta Sauce According to New York cosmetic dentist Jason Kasarsky, DDS, tomato-based sauces that are rich in color can stain teeth, too. “Acids from tomatoes can cause the enamel to become more porous, making teeth more susceptible to absorbing liquid,” he says. “Opt for a lighter tomato sauce instead of a dark one. Simply adding a dash of cream or milk to your sauces can balance out the acids in the tomatoes, lighten the color and make your teeth less prone to stains.”
Fruits and Vegetables While consuming fruits and vegetables is a crucial part of a well-balanced diet, dark fruits and veggies like pomegranates, cherries and beets can leave stains behind. “If you eat berries every day, you’re not going to have blue teeth, but you will slowly notice shade differences,” says Dr. Kasarsky, who explains that darker foods (even smoothies) can stain teeth gray or brown.
Hemp “One source of staining that has become common as laws change is marijuana because, like tobacco, it leaves a very dark, sticky stain,” Dr. Back says. But, before marijuana became legal in some states, CBD was all the rage. While it may have a positive effect on mental health, “the problem with CBD oil is that it contains high levels of iron, which can stain the teeth,” adds Dr. Goldstein. “Even CBD gummies can stick to enamel and attract stains.“
KIMIYA OVEISI/UNSPLASH; HUE12 PHOTOGRAPHY/UNSPLASH; FIDEL FERNANDO/UNSPLASH; VISUAL STORIES MICHEILE/UNSPLASH; ELSA OLOFSSON/UNSPLASH
W I N T E R 2022
Dark Liquids Sarasota, FL cosmetic dentist Jenifer C. Back, DMD says that liquids stain a larger surface area than solid foods, especially if they’re dark in color. A few under-the-radar culprits: soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and black tea. “When it comes to dark drinks like coffee and wine, it’s difficult to tell patients to stop consuming them,” adds Los Altos, CA cosmetic dentist Joseph Field, DDS. “Instead, I tell my patients to consume their drinks quickly rather than slowly sipping. This gives the saliva a chance to protect the teeth from discoloration.”
N E W B E A U T Y. C O M