Keeping your teeth white is an ongoing struggle. Even if you whiten them with an at-home treatment or a professional treatment, you have to work to keep them that white. There are several foods that can stain your teeth if you’re not careful. You could avoid these foods or just be sure to rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after eating them.
Berries, especially dark ones, have a lot of juice that can stain your teeth. The juice of different berries has even been used in dyes by some older civilizations. They work because they’re brightly colored and because they have acids. The natural acids will slowly etch the enamel on your teeth and allow the dark juice to take hold. To avoid that, you should make sure you drink some water after eating berries. Brush your teeth twice daily, and use a toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride strengthens the enamel and reduces the likelihood of staining.
Much like berries, coffee is very dark and acidic. The acid etches the enamel and allows the coffee tannins to stain teeth. The tannins are actually what leaves rings on your coffee table and discolors your coasters. As always, it’s important to brush with fluoride. Also, consider a glass of water after your coffee.
Red wine contains the same tannins that color berries and coffee; they’re also the same tannins that color your teeth. A glass of water is a good idea after a glass of wine. Also, chewing a hard food can actually scrape the surface of the teeth and remove the tannins sitting on the enamel. Chewing almonds, for example, might help.
Sticky candies are notoriously bad for your teeth. They contain sugars that will serve as the feeding grounds for bacteria that can eat away at your enamel and cause gum disease. They also stick to the teeth and leach dyes into scratches in the enamel. Chewing the candies can also create tiny scratches, exacerbating the staining.
Tomato sauces can stain teeth for the same reason as red wine and coffee. The acids in tomatoes will eat away at your enamel, and the same compounds that turn it red can color your teeth. A good rule of thumb is that anything that might stain your white shirt might stain your teeth.
One of the most important factors for staining are how often you eat something and how long you allow it to stay on your teeth. Be sure to keep a regular teeth cleaning schedule with your hygienist.