It’s no secret that what you eat and drink can affect the appearance of your teeth. After consuming a snack or a beverage, food particles and sugar can remain on the teeth, causing discoloration. Certain substances leave behind more evidence than others. However, maintaining healthy teeth cleaning practices can help reduce staining, as well as limiting your consumption of the items listed below. 

What Foods & Beverages Can Stain Teeth?

1. Tomato-Based & Dark-Colored Sauces

teeth cleaning

These sauces are high in acidity and deep in color, which can easily penetrate the pores of your enamel. The acids in foods such as tomato sauce and barbeque sauce eat away at the enamel, leaving the surface a darker shade. Consuming dark greens beforehand can lessen the staining effect, as they create a protective coating. 

2. Coffee & Tea

A cup of coffee is well-known for discoloring your smile, especially if you enjoy it black. Besides acids, this beverage has tannins, which are compounds that enter your teeth’s pores and leave behind stains. Surprisingly, tea can stain your teeth far worse more than coffee. In addition to tannins, it contains theaflavins and thearubigins, which are known to discolor. 

3. Berries

Berries are rich in color and acidity, which can make your smile look less white. Fruits, including raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries, have the potential to leave behind acidic residue after consumption. But since these are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, they shouldn’t be avoided. Washing them down with a glass of water, as well as regular teeth cleaning, can help rinse away the juices.     

4. Wine

Both red and white wine can dull the brightness of your pearly whites. The acids and tannins contained in these beverages erode the enamel, making it easier for color to soak into your smile. 

5. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is dark and sticky, and its acidity can increase the chance of teeth staining. Since it’s normally used as a salad dressing, Colgate recommends enjoying it with lettuce because the vegetable acts as a teeth cleaning agent, preventing the balsamic from settling too deeply. 


You can enjoy the foods you love and good oral health with regular teeth cleaning. Pugh Family Dental in Lexington, NC, recognizes that patients have a diverse range of oral care needs. They offer screenings, preventative services, cosmetic bleaching, and so much more. Call (336) 249-7708 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to get more information on their services.