Teeth whitening what foods to avoid

October 18th, 2016 by Dr. Farokh Zhand

Teeth being an essential part of the human body used in the digestion process, it is usually exposed to every kind of food intake. The foods we consume inevitably pass through the teeth and this contact with food subsequently decolorizes the teeth.

Aesthetic value of teeth cannot be overemphasized since all and sundry would love to have an acceptable color of teeth. Tooth whitening is a safe, noninvasive, and economical way to beautify one’s appearance as compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, such as porcelain veneers, bonding or crowns. However, there are some basic dos and don’ts that must be taken into account or considered to realize the best possible results in teeth whitening  and minimize undesired outcomes, including a mixed up or “brown” smile.

To maintain white teeth certain foods should be avoided or consumed in minimal levels to avoid staining the teeth. Such foods are categorized into; foods with color, dark drinks and sports beverages. Acidic foods and beverages are also foods to be avoided.

Foods with Color

If the food in question will stain white linen, then it will probably stain your teeth too, especially when they are in the more vulnerable transition of being whitened.  Foreign colors which are nothing close to white create more prevalence to teeth stains. Some of the particular foods with color that might compromise the white color of teeth are:

Pasta Sauce or Soy Sauce.

Because of their acidity, bright red hue and tendency to cling to the teeth, the tomatoes in pasta sauce can leave your teeth vulnerable to staining.  Avoid tomato sauce which might cause that stain that will contribute to discolored tooth. Soy sauce should also be avoided.


Berries provide health benefits, such as antioxidants, but they also have the potential to stain your teeth. The deep hue in blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and blackberries in particular can cause staining, regardless of whether they are eaten whole, drunk as juice or processed as jelly and jam. Don’t let them linger in your mouth for too long, and drink water to combat their staining effect. Finish with a glass of milk or a serving of hard cheese, both of which neutralize acid and strengthen teeth.


A number of different drinks, including coffee, tea, sodas, sports drinks and wine, can cause stains due to their acidity. Teas of all colors, even white tea, have been shown to stain teeth and erode enamel. Sports drinks also damage tooth enamel and discolor teeth. Both light and dark sodas, because of their acidity, also cause discoloration and even encourage further staining from foods. Not only can red wine stain teeth; white wine can as well. White wine is actually more acidic than red, which may cause more damage and discoloration to the teeth. Limiting your intake of all of these beverages will benefit both your oral and overall health.

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Site last updated: 30/10/2016

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