Yellowing teeth is an unfortunate part of aging we all have to deal with. Proper dental hygiene can slow the process and lessen the intensity, and a tooth-whitening session will keep the bright shine in your pearly whites, but the foods and drinks we love will discolour our teeth regardless.
Teeth turn yellow when the enamel is stained. Certain foods and beverages are high in chromogens, pigment-producing substances that stick to the tooth’s enamel. Foods and drinks high in acidity can erode the enamel on the tooth, making it easier for chromogens to stick to teeth and create darker stains.
Take a look at these 5 foods and 5 drinks that are some of the worst culprits for stained teeth, with a bit of advice on what you can do to lessen their effects.
This goes for the kind you squeeze all over your chips, as well as the vital ingredient to a good Bolognese. The richly dark colour of tomato sauce heavily stains the outer layer of your teeth, but you can combat this by eating some spinach or broccoli first. These vegetables form a protective layer over your teeth so the stains won’t set.
Full of antioxidants, a few blueberries a day is said to keep the doctor away. But perhaps not the dentist. Their dark colour stains your teeth, so make sure you swish some water in your mouth after a punnet’s worth.
Its yellow colour should be enough of an indicator. Rinse your mouth out afterwards to avoid letting the stains settle.
This really goes for all citrus-based foods. As mentioned above, citrus and other highly acidic foods actually eat away at the enamel on your teeth, making it easier for other foods to stain your teeth. Try to avoid eating too many acidic fruits and get your daily vitamins from bananas, apples etc.
Mum and Dad said sugar would rot your teeth out—and they weren’t entirely wrong. The artificial colours in lollies can badly stain teeth, while the sugar attacks the enamel and allows bacteria to infiltrate.
Coffee-drinkers might take yellow teeth no coffee at all. Rich in tannins (another member of the acidic family), coffee alters the pH balance in your mouth and makes it easier for other teeth-staining substances to take effect more quickly. Try to brush your teeth soon after that morning coffee, and don’t drink it too much throughout the day.
Another one rich in tannins, this goes for both green tea and black tea. Select higher quality tea for weaker stains, because the low-quality stuff tends to contain dye.
Bad news for anyone who needs a cup of coffee in the morning, drinks tea throughout the day and enjoys a glass of wine with dinner. Wine actually turns your teeth a more difficult to remove shade of grey, instead of the typical yellow. Rinse afterwards and enjoy in moderation.
Just like sweets, soft drink is full of sugar and makes a nice home in your teeth for bacteria. Try to stay away from soft drinks—they’re not doing you any good.
This mostly goes for the darkly coloured stuff. The dark hue, as well as the acidic content, leave harsh stains on your teeth. Try eating fruit (like apples, which actually scrub stains off your teeth) or drinking fruit juice spritzers, which don’t have such a dark colour