Food and Drinks to Avoid for a Brighter Smile


While cosmetic procedures are the best way to restore your pearly whites, there are also daily habits you can form to keep your smile in top condition. One of the top ways to maintain a brighter smile is to think before you pop food into your mouth or take a sip of your favorite beverage. La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics have a few foods and drinks you should avoid if you want to keep your teeth white and your smile bright.

What Not to Eat for Whiter Teeth

There are a number of foods that can stain your teeth, including some that benefit your body in other ways. As a general rule, limit these foods in your diet and if you do eat them, practice proper brushing afterward to minimize staining.

Foods to avoid include:

Berries – While they might be loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients, berries can also discolor your teeth if they are consumed too often. This is particularly true of those deeply hued blueberries. You don’t have to say goodbye to blueberries in your diet completely, but make sure to drink plenty of water after eating them to give your mouth a good rinsing.

Soy Sauce – Like dark beverages, dark sauces like soy sauce can also dull your teeth. If you simply must have the dipping sauce with your favorite Asian fare, dip in moderation and brush your teeth after for effective stain prevention.

Tomato Sauce – While this is probably not good news for pasta lovers, tomato sauce is another sauce that can discolor your teeth over time. To protect your mouth before a big spaghetti dinner, try eating a healthy serving of spinach, broccoli or lettuce first. These veggies provide your teeth with a protective coating that makes it harder for the tomato to penetrate your enamel.

What Not to Drink for Whiter Teeth

In addition to some foods, there are beverages that can have a negative impact on your smile. In some cases, drinks can be even worse than foods because they effectively coat your entire mouth with every sip. Some of the worse beverage culprits for teeth staining include:

Coffee – Most of us are aware of coffee’s effects on teeth, since it is one of the most common causes of teeth staining. However, adding some milk to the mix could reduce the staining factor. Drinking water after coffee can also help.

Tea – It’s the tannins in tea that are the primary staining culprit. If you are worried about your smile, opt for green or white teas that are less damaging. Herbal teas also tend to stain less than black teas.

Red Wine – You may be drinking the occasional glass of red wine to keep your cholesterol happy, but it won’t have the same positive effect on your teeth. If you simply must have your vino, switch to white or drink plenty of water after your glass of red.

Cranberry Juice – It may ward off urinary tract infections, but this deep red juice can also wreak havoc on your pearly whites. Instead of drinking straight cranberry juice, opt for a spritzer or go for fruit juices that are lighter in color.

Dark Sodas – In addition to their staining color, these beverages are filled with sugars that can erode the teeth and cause calories. Seltzers give you the bubbles you crave, while eliminating both the sugar and the discoloration from sodas.

Keeping your teeth white can be as easy as making simple lifestyle choices that your pearly whites are sure to appreciate. If you already have staining or other issues interfering with your smile, La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics offers a variety of treatments to restore your teeth and your appearance. To learn more, contact La Jolla Dentistry today at 858-295-0603.