Foods, Teeth Stains, and You: A Brief Guide

KFDentistry Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening Leave a Comment

Imagine your ideal smile, one you’d be proud of. One of the most important elements of that smile is likely the color of your teeth, ideally a bright, gleaming white. Keeping your teeth white can take a lot of work, but you can go a long way with basic brushing and flossing.

With that said, dietary changes can also improve the look of your teeth. Certain substances are notorious for dulling that ideal white color.


Ever have a delicious sip of red wine and savor that thick, buttery quality that almost seems to tingle? Those are tannins, delicious chemical compounds present in many rich foods: red wine, coffee, tea, chocolate, berries, beer, and more.

Tannins on their own are rather harmless. The problem is that they often show up in foods with deep color compounds. Tannins react with these color compounds in a way that adheres them to your teeth, causing discoloration.

Some studies have shown that milk in drinks can reduce this effect, but it’s not a guarantee.

Acidic Foods

All acid is inherently corrosive to some degree. While your tooth enamel is extremely strong stuff, even it is weak to acid. Acidic drinks and foods act like sandpaper for your teeth, gradually roughing up the surface. Not only can this erode the enamel itself, but the increased surface area is easier for bacteria and stains to attach to.


Tobacco affects teeth through both tar and nicotine. Tobacco tar is naturally dark and sticky, and easily clings to your teeth. While some aftermarket filters can reduce this tar intake, the only real solution is to quit smoking.

Nicotine, in addition to being addictive, can also discolor your teeth. While colorless by itself, nicotine yellows in the presence of oxygen.


Following a flawless diet is both difficult and no fun. So aside from cutting back on those substances, how else can you keep your teeth white?

  1. Whitening toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste does work, but there’s a catch: it only works on surface level stains. Some also feature coloration that covers up stains.
  2. Veneers: veneers are very thin layers of material placed on the front of your teeth, covering up stains. These can be applied by a dentist.
  3. Teeth whitening: professional dental whitening uses a custom-fit tray and a chemical that you wear 2-4 hours a day. This procedure is monitored by your dentist.

Do you have discolored teeth? Klooster Family Dentistry offers both teeth whitening and veneer services to our clients in Holly Springs and Raleigh! We’re currently accepting new patients. Contact us today to get started!

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