10 Foods & Drinks That Cause Teeth Stains Main Banner

Top 10 Foods & Drinks That Stain & Discolour Teeth

Have you ever noticed that certain foods and drinks seem to leave dense stains on your teeth, even if only temporary before your next teeth clean. How many times have you been to a mirror in a restaurant after a meal and been shocked at how stained your teeth are?

The reason for this is mainly due to certain ingredients and colouring contained within certain types of foods and drinks. Whether it be natural ingredients and colourings or artificial ingredients and colourings, they still have the same effect on your teeth.

One of the good things about teeth whitening is that the whitening solution in professional whitening products is designed to tackle staining and discolouration from these very ingredients and colourings, however, by becoming aware of the key culprits, you can help prevent build up heavy staining and discolouration.

In this guide we cover the top 10 foods and drinks which cause the most staining and discolouration to teeth:

1. Red Wine

Without doubt one of the biggest causes of unsightly teeth is red wine. The reason for this is due to ‘polyphenols’ within the wine which allows stains to build up over time.

Red wine also has a lot of acidity within it which attacks the enamel of your teeth allowing the polyphenols to stick to your teeth.

2. Coffee

One of the biggest causes of stained teeth is heavy coffee drinking. One of the main reasons for this are ‘tannins’ which are polyphenols similar to those found in red wine and contain a dark pigment.

Also like red wine, the acidity within coffee allows the tannins to attack the tooth enamel allowing the polyphenol stains to stick and build up on the teeth.

3. Tea

Exactly like coffee above, the nation’s favourite drink also leaves unsightly stains on teeth after a cup too many. And just like coffee, it’s the tannins and polyphenols which do the damage and allow the dark stains from the tea brew to build up over time.

4. Tomato Sauces

Of all the foods available, nothing stains teeth like tomato sauces found pastas, pizzas and other tomato based dishes. One of the main reasons is due to the acidity found with tomatoes and tomato purees which attacks tooth enamel.

Another key reason is the highly vibrant red pigment found in tomatoes and its this red pigment that sticks to your teeth.

5. Fizzy Drinks

Many people drink fizzy drinks thinking they won’t stain their teeth but drinks like cola, dandelion & burdock and certain sports energy drinks can easily stain teeth even if drunk in moderate volumes.

The reason is due to the low pH levels found in fizzy drinks. As fizzy drinks are all high in acidity, this attacks teeth enamel enabling the artificial colourings of fizzy drinks to stain the teeth.

6. Berries

Although berries are extremely good for you with high levels of vitamins and minerals, when eaten in large volumes they can also easily stain your teeth too.

This is because of the high level of acidity in berries and when combined with their natural colour pigments this allows the berries to stain the teeth,

Blueberries and blackberries are the worst culprits but raspberries and strawberries also have potent colour pigments that can also stain teeth.

7. Sweets

Although sweets and candy are almost all made from some sort of artificial ingredients and colourings, their high sugar and acidity content attacks the teeth enamel making it susceptible to decay and staining.

Another reason why certain sweets cause more staining is the artificial colourings and dyes they put into the sweets to give them their unique look and taste. Once acidity builds up, this allows the colourings and dyes to attach to the teeth and stain them.

8. Soy Sauce

Who doesn’t love a bit of soy sauce with their boiled rice or fried rice, but did you know soy sauce can cause heavy teeth staining even after consuming a small amount?

The reason for this is because soy sauce has a very strong concentration of chromogens which are dark colour pigments that stick to the teeth and cause the teeth to stain.

9. Beetroot

Beetroot is known for its dark purple dye like colour and its precisely this which causes teeth staining. Beetroot has a specific type of pigment called ‘betalains’ which penetrate the tooth enamel and stick to it causing dark stains buildup in a short amount of time.

10. Curry

One of the biggest causes of tooth stains are curries, in particular curry sauces. The reason for this is because they contain turmeric and have dark pigments which cause teeth staining over a long period of time.

Another reason why curry can stain teeth is that some curry dishes contain tomato sauces or purees which can cause additional acidity which in-turns attacks teeth enamel and helps these pigments attach to the pores in teeth.


As we have seen above, there are a variety of foods and drinks that cause heavy staining to teeth. Most of the reason is simply down to the ingredients and colourings they have in them.

That said, healthy foods should always be consumed no matter what as part of a healthy diet and you know for a fact, when you have a healthy diet, you will almost certainly have healthy teeth too.

The good news is that with a good dental hygiene routine and the use of specialist teeth whitening products, you can ensure you always have a healthy white smile.

If you are considering whitening your teeth, here at 365 Teeth Whitening, we have a range of fantastic teeth whitening products to choose from such as Crest whitening strips, Philips Zoom whitening gel, Opalescence whitening gel, SDI Pola whitening gel and a fantastic range of whitening toothpaste and accessories.

Legal Disclaimer

All of the information in this blog post is by its nature generic. 365 Teeth Whitening makes no warranty or representation that any of the information in this guide is accurate, complete or current or that it contains no technical or typographical errors. For more information, please visit our terms & conditions. Image sources: Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash.

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