Top 8 Foods to Avoid for Whiter Teeth

It happens before you know it—one day you look in the mirror and realize that your teeth are a yucky, dingy yellow color.  Teeth can stop looking white for many reasons, some of them out of your control, such as heredity and aging.

You can try various methods for making your teeth nice and white, but there are also some things you can do to avoid getting yellow and stained teeth in the first place. Of course it helps to practice good dental hygiene, but you can also keep your teeth white just by avoiding certain foods.

Here are 8 foods you should stay away from to keep those pearly whites white instead of other, less appealing colors….

  1. Dark colored beverages such as coffee and tea
  2. Soda and sports drinks
  3. Pickles, ketchup, and other acidic foods. The acid opens up pores in teeth, making them more susceptible to staining.
  4. Sweet foods, like candy and popsicles. If your tongue is a funny color after having one of these treats, chances are some of that color is on your teeth as well.
  5. Juices, such as cranberry or grape
  6. Berries, which, like some juices, have a dark color that can be hard to remove from teeth
  7. Sauces, such as soy sauce, tomato sauce, and curry sauce
  8. Wine. With its dark color, it is hard to drink red wine without getting stains on your teeth.

How to Avoid Stains

Besides avoiding these foods (or at least cutting down on them), you should also avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, both of which can cause ugly stains on teeth that are tough to get rid of.

There are also some other, more surprising sources of tooth stains: iron supplements, mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride, high amounts of fluoride, and even medications for high blood pressure and allergies.

There are even some diseases that can cause teeth to look yellow and stained. Medical treatments such as chemotherapy can cause discoloration as well.

If you just can’t live without your morning grape juice but you are trying to avoid stains, a simple solution is to drink it through a straw.

Also to avoid stains, brush your teeth right away after having any of these foods or beverages. If you’ve just had a food or beverage that is likely to cause stains and you don’t have your toothbrush handy, it is a good idea to rinse your mouth with water.

And of course, you should practice good oral hygiene every day—brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist twice a year. When there is a build up of plaque on your teeth, this gives stains a perfect place to form. Good dental hygiene can prevent this and help your teeth looking their whitest.

What to Do if You Do Have Stained Teeth

There are a variety of ways to get rid of stains on your teeth. The method you choose depends on how much time and money you want to spend to whiten your teeth. It will also depend on if you would like to take care of it at home, or if you would like your dentist to whiten your teeth for you.


No one enjoys looking in the mirror and seeing yellow, dingy-looking teeth. Practicing good dental hygiene and avoiding certain foods and drinks are two ways to make sure you keep your teeth looking white and healthy.

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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