Scroll through social media or flip through a magazine, and you’ll notice that all the models have some things in common, especially when it comes to their smiles. Each of them has a perfect glittering grin. You’ll never see a dingy smile in your newsfeed or in the pages of a magazine, and you shouldn’t accept anything less for yourself.

Our dentists at EZ Dental Clinic know how important your smile is to feel confident and that confidence is crucial to a happy, healthy life. We want to help you identify the daily habits that are keeping you from having the smile of your dreams and give you a few tips on how to avoid unsightly stains.

Here’s a list of foods and drinks you should avoid if you want to keep your smile bright.

Berries and fruits

Your favorite fruits and berries don’t only taste great, but they’re also beautiful. But the same pigments that make them pop with color are also wreaking havoc on your teeth. You might notice that your teeth turn a red or purplish hue after snacking on berries. That’s because the pigments and microscopic organic particles seep into your enamel and stay there, especially if your teeth are porous.

Some of the berries and fruits that are most likely to stain your teeth are:

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Pomegranates
  • Cranberries
  • Grapes
  • Beets

Keep in mind that drinking berry and fruit juices can have the same effect on your teeth as eating whole fruits.

Tomato sauces

Who doesn’t love a heaping pile of spaghetti covered in marinara sauce or a slice of pizza? Your teeth don’t. Tomatoes are incredibly acidic and bright in color. The acidity attacks your enamel and allows the bright red color to settle on your enamel, staging your teeth.

Candy and other sweets

Gummy bears, suckers, and chocolates are great for satisfying your sweet tooth, but the dyes in your favorite treats tend to stick around on your teeth and turn your smile from white to washed out.

Vinegar and soy sauce

Acid is one of the greatest threats not only to the color of your smile but also to your overall oral health. Balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and other acidic condiments break down your white enamel and open the door for stains to set in.

Sugary drinks

Do you quench your thirst with a cold cola? Do you depend on your favorite energy drink to get you through the day? You’re likely staining your teeth without even realizing it. The high-acidity contents and artificial dyes in sodas and energy drinks are some of the worst things for maintaining a bright, white smile.

Coffee and tea

Coffee and tea, the world’s most popular energy sources, are also some of the most common culprits of stained teeth. Both contain a type of chemical compound called tannin, which causes colors to stick to your teeth.

Red wine

Whether you’re out with some friends or unwinding after a long day, a glass of red wine can be relaxing and even promote heart health in moderation. But you should also be aware of red wine’s effect on your enamel. Like many of the other harmful foods and drinks, red wine is extremely acidic. When it comes in contact with your teeth, it exposes your enamel and lets pigments seep in and stain your teeth.

How to avoid stains

Do you eat or drink everything on our list of things to avoid? If so, we understand if you’re wondering how you’re ever going to avoid staining your teeth. Fortunately, there are few ways to get around teeth discoloration.

For example, you can cut back on your consumption of harmful foods and drinks. We also encourage you to drink through a straw to limit pigment-rich and acidic beverages from contacting your teeth. Do your best to swish your mouth with water or brush your teeth shortly after eating and drinking tooth-staining foods and drinks to limit the amount of time acid has to erode your enamel and stains to set in.

But the best thing you can do for your discolored smile is to make an appointment with our teeth-whitening specialists. We offer take-home whitening kits that far surpass what you can find on the shelves at your store, so you can reverse years of stains from the comfort of your home.

If you’d like to learn more about how to get and keep a whiter smile, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Bellevue, Washington office.

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