What causes teeth stainsAs you age, your tooth enamel changes in ways that make stains more likely. There are three types of compounds which can contribute, and you might be surprised to learn that coffee is not the worse culprit when it comes to what causes teeth stains.

What Causes Teeth Stains?

  • Acids – Exposure to acids on your tooth enamel can soften the enamel, making it easier for stains to set in.
  • Chromogens – Chromogens are strong pigments which can stick to teeth.
  • Tannins – Plant-based tannins make it easier for stains to adhere to teeth.

Drinks or Food that Causes Teeth Stains

Tea – Surprise! Tea is the worst offender for what causes teeth stains. This is because tea contains a high amount of chromogens and tannins. Nearly half of Americans consume tea daily, and the frequency of tea consumption makes this the worst offender for teeth stains.

Coffee – Especially hot brewed, is very acidic which makes it easy for regular drinkers to accumulate discoloration on their teeth.

Wine – Wine is very acidic, and like tea, contains a high amount of tannins and chromogens. This is the perfect recipe for teeth stains. Tip: White wine, while it’s still acidic and contains tannins, lacks the color to actually stain your teeth.

Carbonated Beverages – Very acidic. Darker colas contain chromogens that stain teeth while the lighter sodas make your teeth more susceptible to teeth staining from other foods that contain high levels of chromogens.

Berries – If they are likely to stain clothes, your teeth are at risk. Things like tomatoes, pomegranates, and blueberries are good examples.

Artificial Dyes – The best example is blue raspberry, where your tongue turns blue. Consuming candy or other food items with artificial dyes can contribute to teeth staining.

What to Do About Teeth Staining

Other contributing factors to teeth staining include tobacco use and poor oral hygiene practices. You can keep your teeth shining bright by brushing your teeth or using mouthwash after consuming drinks or food items that are known to stain teeth. Using a straw can help reduce exposure of these elements to your teeth, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings, will reduce the staining on your teeth.

Teeth whitening is also a great option for those looking to dramatically improve their smile. Dr. Kidess offers fast and effective in-house teeth whitening services as well as take-home kits. Contact our office for more details.