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6 Foods That Stain Teeth

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You can have a flawless oral hygiene routine that consists of flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, but no matter how thorough you are when it comes to cleaning your teeth, you may still notice some discoloration. That’s because certain foods can stain your enamel, creating a more yellow hue.

The good news? As long as you keep up with a regular flossing and brushing regimen, you can lessen the possibility of extrinsic discoloration, which is discoloration that only affects the enamel.

Here are a few common foods that if eaten (or drank) in excess may be staining your teeth! If extrinsic discoloration is a concern, consider limiting your intake.

Foods That May Stain Teeth


If you’re a tea drinker — especially black tea — you may need to worry about tooth stains because of the tannins in your leafy beverage. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your caffeine fix altogether. Research shows that adding milk to your tea can help reduce staining from happening.


If berries are one of your go-to snacks, just be aware: they can have staining properties. In order to prevent or minimize any kind of discoloration, make sure you follow a good oral care routine that includes brushing twice a day.

Tomato Sauce

Pasta lovers won’t be happy to hear that those tasty tomato sauces you’re consuming do have the capability to cause teeth to yellow over time. So be sure you’re brushing two times a day and flossing regularly.


While discolored or stained teeth often look yellow, sometimes discoloration can be darker depending on the color of the food. Research out of Croatia showed that study participants who consumed a large amount of beets had more dark discoloration on their teeth than those who ate collard greens. This is likely due to beet’s heavily pigmented red color and its low amount of fiber, as fiber-rich foods can help keep teeth and gums clean and get saliva flowing.

Coffee and Wine

Your morning cup of joe or nightly glass of red wine may not be the best thing for your teeth. Like other darkly colored foods, they can stain, so if you’re worried about the consequences, enjoy them in moderation (which we should all be doing anyway)! Like tea, adding a little bit of milk to your coffee may help reduce the staining effect.

Like most things in life, as long as you practice moderation with these foods and drinks and take care to rinse, brush, and floss, there’s no reason to completely say goodbye to the things you love. However, if tooth discoloration is really bothering you, consider talking to your dentist about your options!

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