6 Habits That Can Stain Your Teeth

13 October 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Articles


A bright smile can improve your self-confidence and help you make a better impression with other people. However, if you want to maintain white teeth, you have to do more than just brush and floss every day. Maintaining a white smile will take some effort and require you to give up some bad habits. Here are six habits that can stain your teeth:

Eating Stain-Causing Foods

Unfortunately, if you want to maintain a white smile, you may have to limit some of your favorite foods. Dark-colored foods, in particular, can stain your teeth. For example, according to Colgate, berries can stain your teeth because they have such a deep hue. Curry also has deep pigmentation and can discolor your teeth over time. When you do have a craving for curry-spiced foods, add vegetables like celery and carrots. Other foods that can lead to tooth stains include pasta sauce and balsamic vinegar. If you can't completely give up all these foods, it is a wise idea to rinse your mouth with water afterward.

Drinking Dark-Colored Beverages

It is also important to be mindful of what beverages you drink. If you often consume dark-colored drinks, your teeth will likely get stained over time. For example, red wine contains tannins and chromogens that will leave deep stains on your enamel. The rich pigments in black tea can also discolor your teeth. It is better to drink white and green teas, as they will leave fewer stains on your pearly whites. If you still want to drink these beverages on occasion, you should use a straw because it will keep the drinks away from your teeth.

Smoking Tobacco

Smoking cigarettes does not just hurt your health; it can also negatively affect your appearance. The tar in cigarettes will quickly accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth and make them look yellow. Quitting this dangerous habit can reduce your risk of many chronic diseases and improve the look of your smile.


It may seem odd, but swimming in a pool too often can stain your teeth. According to ABC News, when the pH balance of pool water gets too low, it can harm your tooth enamel. If you like to swim in your pool frequently, you should test the pool water every week with pH test strips. If the pH of the water is between 7.2 and 7.8, it is safe to swim in.

Using an Old Toothbrush

If it has been more than a few months since you have replaced your toothbrush, you are more likely to develop stains on your teeth. After a while, the bristles will get worn down and will not remove food particles and plaque off your teeth as effectively. It is very important to get a new toothbrush at least every three months.

Neglecting to Clean Your Tongue

If you are like many people, you probably do not give much thought to cleaning your tongue. However, neglecting to brush your tongue can negatively affect your pearly whites. All the food particles and bacteria that accumulate on your tongue during the day can transfer to your teeth, making them look discolored. With a toothbrush, brush your tongue in a back and forth motion several times. Then, rinse your mouth with water.

Avoiding these habits can help you achieve that white smile you desire so much. However, if your teeth are still not as white as you want them to be, you should think about getting a professional whitening treatment from a cosmetic dentist, like those at Milan Simanek, D.D.S. & Associates. The treatment only takes about 20 minutes and can last several months.