An image of a plate of spaghetti and meatballs

For many of us, a bright white smile is something that we all want. While practicing proper oral hygiene is part of getting those pearly whites, it’s important to understand that the food and drink that you’re consuming is also contributing to how white or not white your smile is. Certain foods and beverages can discolor your teeth, like coffee and red wine. Some of these foods, you may be aware of but there are other ones that might surprise you. In this blog post we will be discussing some of the foods and drinks that you might not suspect are discoloring your teeth. Keep reading to learn more! 


Pasta Sauce 

Due to the acidity of tomatoes and the bright red hue, tomatoes tend to cling easily to your teeth, which leaves them susceptible to staining. Don’t lose hope though! Incorporating some dark green veggies like broccoli, kale, and spinach into your meal can help combat that staining. Dark green veggies create a protective film over the teeth and that film can help become a barrier between your teeth and the sauce. So, maybe next spaghetti night, try a nice leafy salad before hand? Your teeth will thank you for it! 



Curry is a popular and delicious spice blend that is wonderful at all times of the year. It is used in many Indian dishes and even though it creates that warm and rich taste, it has high staining powers as well. Due to its bright yellow color, it’s no wonder that your teeth may look a bit more yellow after consuming it. If you are dining on curry spiced foods, just like we mentioned earlier, try snacking on some fresh fruits and veggies before hand. These fresh foods will not only help create that barrier, but they will also help fill you up before hand. 


Balsamic Dressings 

Balsamic vinegar has quickly become a popular and healthier alternative for salad dressings. We love balsamic vinegar for its taste and health reasons but it has very dark color that can easily lead to staining. It also has a bit of a sticker consistency and can stick on your teeth, which just increases its staining power too. But since balsamic is usually eaten with salad greens, your teeth are slightly more protected. That crunchy lettuce will also help to break down that balsamic, which helps it not stick to your teeth as much. 


Dark Berries 

Berries are incredible for all of their antioxidant benefits, but those dark and juicy colors have the potential to stain your teeth. The deep colors in fruits like blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries can stain your teeth. No matter how you eat them, whether it be fresh or in jams, desserts, or juice, try not to let them linger in your mouth too much. Drink water in between bites or swish around water to help prevent staining. You can even finish the sweet flavors off by eating a piece of cheese, which can help neutralize the acid and strengthen your teeth. 


Dark Beverages 

Many of us know that dark beverages like tea, coffee, and red wine can discolor your teeth, but they can also erode enamel due to their acidity, especially when it comes to sodas. Acid is something that your mouth is not friends with, even more so when you’re trying to keep your teeth white. The higher the level of acidity in the drink, the higher the chances of it staining your teeth. Limit your intake of these and instead reach for a glass of water. Your body and your teeth will thank you for it later! We promise! 


Colored Sports Drinks

Due to the high acid and sugar levels in sports drinks, these contents can actually make the teeth softer and very vulnerable to staining. They also tend to be colored with artificial coloring such as blue, red, and yellow food dyes. These dyes can easily slip into your teeth and end up staining your beautiful smile. They can also lead to excess calorie consumption and inflammation of the body. So if you’re reaching for a nice refreshing sports drink, swap it out with a full glass of water.


Instead of having to avoid all these foods and drinks, try teeth whitening! Standard oral hygiene can only take you so far, but professional teeth whitening services can give your teeth that pearly glow you’re looking for! At Smiles By Dr. Santos we offer full-service teeth whitening procedures that can easily get rid of these food stains. Having a bright and white smile not only adds to a beautiful smile but can increase confidence, allowing you to get out there and do the things you love. We offer several different methods of teeth whitening and our dentists will help you find the one that is best for you. Connect with us today to learn more about our teeth whitening and other dental procedures. We look forward to seeing your smile!