Dental Hygienist 14/11/2023

5 Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Ensuring a bright and white smile is now a priority for more and more people. Most people know that they should brush and clean their teeth interdentally and attend regular dental appointments to keep their teeth in the best possible condition.

In addition to regular dental health checkups, many people are also committing to regular hygienist visits to help remove surface stains. But did you know there are also steps you can take between appointments to help reduce the risk of discolouration and staining?

How do teeth get stained?

Teeth might look solid, but they are actually porous like a sponge. They are able to absorb staining particles from the food and drink that we enjoy every day. Stains can also occur on the surface of the teeth.

Plaque is a sticky and clear substance that builds up on the surface of the teeth. If this is left for too long without being brushed away, it will harden and turn into plaque. This is often brown or yellow in colour, but it can turn black over time.

The combination of surface staining and your teeth absorbing stains can leave them looking dull, yellow, brown, or grey. Staining might look worse between your teeth, or you might have an overall shade of discolouration.

Which food and drink items cause the worst stains?

The food and drink that we enjoy every day will have a significant impact on the colour of our teeth. Some food and drink items are worse at staining than others, so they should be limited or eliminated if you want to avoid dental discolouration.

Red wine

Red wine is an acidic drink that contains tannins, most commonly thought of as being in tea. This gives the drink the potential to cause a large amount of staining on your teeth.

Wherever possible, try to limit your intake of wine, or make sure you are drinking plenty of water alongside your wine. Not only will this help to reduce any potential hangover the following day, it will also help to reduce the level of staining of your teeth.

Eating raw veggies like carrot sticks alongside your wine can help to minimise the staining. Eating a small piece of cheese alongside your wine will also help to protect your teeth as the cheese contains calcium.


Like wine, ordinary tea is rich in stain-promoting tannins. Many dentists say that staining from tea can be an even bigger problem than staining from coffee as it is low in tannins.

If you can’t bear the thought of giving up your morning brew, you could consider switching to herbal, green or white tea, as these have all been shown to have much less staining capacity.

Fizzy drinks

Not only do you need to be concerned with dark-coloured fizzy drinks which have the ability to stain your teeth, but lighter-coloured drinks are also sufficiently acidic that they promote the staining of teeth by other foods and drinks that you may have at the same time.

Also, fizzy drinks are often drunk cold and this has the effect of causing teeth to contract, making them more porous and easier to stain.

Dark sauces

Dark sauces used to flavour foods can also have a staining effect. Soy, balsamic, barbecue sauce and tomato sauce can have a detrimental effect on the brightness of your smile. Barbecue is particularly troubling, as it is sticky and sweet and causes staining particles. This means that the sauce sticks to your teeth for longer, leading to increased exposure.

One way to avoid staining is to eat lettuce, spinach or broccoli at the start of your meal. These vegetables can help to protect your teeth by forming a protective film. You can also chew gum after your meal to remove any food debris from your teeth.


Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries and other intensely coloured fruit also have the potential to cause stains. This is true no matter what form they come in whether juices, smoothies, pies or cakes.

The acidity of the fruit will also attack the enamel on your teeth, which is the protective layer that helps to prevent staining particles from getting into your teeth.

What treatments are available?

If you have very stained teeth and are unhappy with how they look, there are solutions that will help you to feel more confident.

Visit the dental hygienist

Here at Benfleet Dental Centre, our highly qualified hygienists can help to make your smile dazzle. The hygienist is not only able to give your teeth a deep and thorough cleaning they are also able to advise on the best oral hygiene products to ensure that you are able to keep your teeth healthy in between visits.

Try Airflow stain removal

A further service the hygienists are able to offer is Airflow stain removal. Airflow stain removal treatment is a pleasant and comfortable procedure. It takes just one appointment and will leave your teeth feeling smooth, clean, polished and ready to smile with confidence.

Airflow stain removal uses air, sodium bicarbonate particles and a gentle jet stream of water to remove surface stains caused by tobacco, food, drink and other lifestyle factors. You will immediately see and feel the difference.

Airflow stain removal is kind to the tooth surface; it will significantly improve tooth brightness and give you a noticeably sparkling, fresh, healthy mouth in an instant.

Teeth whitening

If you have tried dental hygiene treatments but you aren’t satisfied with the results, you could try a cosmetic treatment like teeth whitening. This treatment option will use special chemicals to break up the staining particles and flush them out of your teeth. This can help to make your teeth look brighter and whiter.

If you would like more help and advice on removing those unsightly stains from your teeth call today on 01702 557766 to book your appointment at Benfleet Dental Centre and let our highly trained hygienists improve the appearance of your teeth.

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Benfleet Dental Centre

8 Benfleet Road, Benfleet. SS7 1QB

Opening times

Monday08:00 - 17:00
Tuesday08:00 - 18:30
Wednesday08:00 - 17:00
Thursday08:00 - 17:00
Friday08:00 - 17:00
Saturday09:00 - 14:00*
*By appointment only