If you’re trying to whiten your teeth without success, don’t worry — you don’t need those fancy influencer-endorsed at-home whitening kits. There are a few things you can try to avoid if you want to keep your teeth clean and white. Some might surprise you because they aren’t unhealthy; they just stain your teeth. In those cases, consider a quick brush after consuming to keep that sought-after gleam.
This one isn’t an enormous surprise to most of us. There are two problems with soda; the first is that darker drinks have dyes and coloring agents. The second, much worse problem, is that the acidity and high sugar in most sodas are hard on tooth enamel.
Do your best to avoid soda. If you want to indulge, keep it to once a day, and brush your teeth afterward if you can. Even rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking a soda can help.
Soy sauce isn’t particularly bad for you. Sure, it’s usually high in sodium, but we’re not here to judge. There are unhealthier condiments to worry about. Soy sauce is just very dark, so like other dark sauces — Worcester sauce and malt vinegar — it can cause your teeth to stain, even if temporarily.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are constantly touted as having lots of health benefits. Tea does, and coffee does as well (if you’re not a caffeine-fiend like me, that is). All the benefits aside, they still stain your teeth.
Unlike soy sauce, which you probably don’t eat every day, most of us have a coffee or tea daily. Tea is a bit worse for staining, especially darker brews. You’ll eventually notice your smile’s shine suffering for it, but simple cleaning will take care of this. Coffee and tea are definitely healthier than soda, so we’re not telling you to cut back — just don’t slip on your brushing routine.
We hate to say it, but you know you’ve seen red wine stains on teeth before. No, you can’t avoid it. If you drink red wine regularly, your teeth will slowly get a little less shiny. The acids and tannins in red wine are the culprits.
If you’re not giving up your nightly glass of wine (you’re in excellent company on that), instead consider switching it up to a white wine sometimes. The acids can still cause a problem, but white wine is less likely to stain your teeth.
Berries are healthy, but berries also stain your teeth. It happens with frozen berries, whole natural berries, and pies full of berries — there’s no way around it. Yet, berries are a brilliant source of healthy vitamins and nutrients, so avoiding them isn’t worth it. Instead, just take extra care to brush your teeth after a berry binge.