Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

The best way to keep your teeth sparkling white is to practice scrupulous oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing and twice-annual professional cleanings. You can also have your teeth professionally whitened either in our office or with our take-home bleaching system. To maintain your beautiful white smile, though, you should also pay attention to what you eat and drink. Here are some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration.

Dark Berries

Although they have tremendous health benefits, dark berries can easily stain your teeth. Among the worst culprits are cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Don’t cut them out of your diet, but do rinse your mouth with plain water as soon as possible, followed by a dairy product to neutralize the acids.Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Tomatoes and Citrus Fruits

Tomatoes and citrus fruits are extremely healthy and make a beautiful addition to any plate. However, they are high in acids that can erode tooth enamel, exposing the yellowish dentin below. Dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale are natural tooth protectors, so whenever possible, dig into a leafy salad before consuming them. Otherwise, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after enjoying a hearty tomato sauce or a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea cultures have taken the preparation and serving of these delicious beverages to the next level. Unfortunately, their high levels of tannins can stain your teeth. Dairy products are a natural way to cleanse the teeth, so consider adding some milk to your tea or coffee. Also drink from a cup with a lid whenever possible, as this prevents your teeth from becoming coated with the liquid. After enjoying your beverage, rinse your mouth with plain water.


You are probably aware that red wine can easily stain your teeth, as it contains the same tannins as tea and coffee. You might not know, though, that white wine can erode tooth enamel just like citrus and tomatoes. Drink a glass of water after each glass of wine.


An incredibly popular Indian spice, curry can gradually yellow your teeth. Fortunately, curry dishes often contain natural tooth cleansers such as cauliflower, apples, carrots, or celery. To further protect your teeth, drink milk or water with your favorite curry dish.

Balsamic Vinegar

Its intense flavor makes balsamic vinegar a tremendously popular choice for vinaigrette dressings, but it is dark and sticky, and can easily stain your teeth. Fortunately, crunchy vegetables can help keep your teeth clean. Use salad dressing in moderation, and choose a variety of vegetables beyond iceberg lettuce. Drink a glass of water when you finish your salad to finish rinsing your mouth.

There is no reason to give up your favorite foods and beverages to protect your teeth. Instead, practice moderation, combine tooth staining items with natural cleansers, and drink a lot of water. Along with excellent oral hygiene practices, these steps can keep your smile looking its best.

Ready to Make Your Appointment?

If you’re ready to get started with a progressive yet conservative approach to your dental health, contact Creekview Dental today at 651-738-8204 to schedule your first appointment.