5 Foods and Drinks That May Be Darkening Your Smile

Teeth whitening is more popular than ever, with people of all ages investing in special toothpastes, mouthwashes, and bleaching products. However, at-home solutions don’t always offer the results you’re looking for, especially if your daily diet includes things like soda and other staining agents

Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili of Fairfax Family Dentist in Fairfax, Virginia, provides professional teeth whitening and can guide you on diet choices to help prevent dark stains from making a reappearance.

Why your teeth yellow with time 

When people imagine a healthy smile, they often imagine a perfectly straight, white row of teeth. However, this isn’t the reality for most people. Even if they have straight teeth, it’s difficult to keep your teeth white. 

The outer layer of your teeth is called enamel, and it’s prone to yellowing and discoloration over time. Modern-day teeth bleaching allows people to keep their teeth white with ease, but you have to eat and drink carefully to avoid losing the effects of your whitening efforts. 

5 foods and drinks to limit or avoid 

There is a long list of foods that contain acids, sugars, and staining agents that can darken your enamel, especially if you don’t brush your teeth after meals. If you want to avoid yellowing your smile, try to limit the following foods, or at least rinse your mouth after eating or drinking them. 

1. Red wine 

This is one of the worst culprits behind darkening teeth, so make sure to have a glass of water after you enjoy a glass of wine. This not only protects your teeth, but it might also save you a hangover. 

2. Tea, coffee, and cola 

Technically three drinks, but many people have a favorite they use as a source of caffeine. Tea and coffee also contain tannins, which tend to stain enamel over time. Try to keep a water bottle on hand when you have your daily dose of caffeine, or better yet, brush after your morning coffee. As for dark sodas, the combination of sugars, acid, and dark coloring are a common cause of discoloration. 

3. Berries and grapes

If you’ve ever gotten your fingers stained by blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries, you might already know how much they can stain. This goes for your teeth as well, so brush your teeth after enjoying any berries or grapes. 

4. Curry 

This dish is very popular in many households, but the yellow sauce can stain your teeth as well. Try to have a glass of water with your meal if you plan on having curry for dinner. 

5. Tomato-based sauces

Tomatoes and red sauces might be a staple of many peoples’ diet, but they can stain your teeth much as they do Tupperware. Again, have a glass of water at the table when you have a tomato-based dish. 

Maintaining a white smile 

With professional teeth whitening, you can eat whatever you want and maintain a white smile. However, if you want to make your results last between sessions, try to be aware of what you’re eating and drinking. 

Is it time for a whitening? Schedule a session with Dr. Padmaja Yalamanchili by calling 703-213-5312, or book an appointment online. 

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