Which Foods and Drinks Stain My Teeth and Why?

young beautiful woman eating a chocolate

Clean and bright teeth can indicate that you have a healthy smile. However, some people may struggle with dull or stained teeth and feel embarrassed and insecure when they smile.

Maintaining a healthy diet, brushing and flossing daily, and avoiding certain foods and drinks can help prevent your teeth from looking discolored for a more radiant smile.

To reduce the risk of staining your teeth, avoid or reduce your intake of the following foods and drinks:

Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce is a common ingredient used in many different dishes, such a spaghetti, pizza, lasagna, and tomato soup. While delicious, the tomatoes used in pasta sauce are acidic and can weaken tooth enamel and cause staining. If you cannot resist eating pasta sauce, one way to help prevent staining is to eat your vegetables first. Eating dark green veggies like spinach and broccoli before any meal containing pasta sauce will prevent staining by creating a protective barrier on your teeth.

Coffee, Tea, and Sports Drinks

If a nice hot cup of coffee or tea is what helps you get through the day, you may want to minimize just how much you drink. Coffee and tea contain tannins and acid that can stain, discolor, and damage your teeth. Sugary and acidic sodas and sports drinks can also cause discoloration. Putting milk in your coffee or tea can balance that rich, dark color and reduce staining. Drinking milk or eating a hard cheese after consuming these liquids can also neutralize the acidity in your mouth and prevent enamel erosion.


Berries of all sorts contain antioxidants that are healthy and beneficial. While nutritious, the rich pigmentation found in dark-colored berries can stain and weaken your teeth. To avoid staining your teeth, make sure to drink water or rinse your mouth with water after consuming berries, juice, or jelly.

How to Whiten Stained Teeth

One of the best ways to address tooth discoloration is to visit your dentist. If you are suffering from stained and discolored teeth, Dr. Kohani offers teeth whitening and veneers that can improve the color of your teeth.

If you are interested in brightening your smile, schedule your visit with Dr. Kohani by calling our office at 858-295-0603.