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Why Do Some Foods and Drinks Stain Your Teeth?


Does your day not start until you’ve had your morning cup of joe? Do you often have a glass of wine in the evening to unwind? If so, you’re probably all too familiar with how these beverages can stain your teeth. Maybe you’ve wondered why these beverages – and foods like soy sauce, curry, and blueberries – make your pearly whites darker than others. Read on as a cosmetic dentist in Oklahoma City explains why some foods and drinks discolor teeth – and how professional teeth whitening can give you a brighter smile!

How Teeth Become Discolored

The outer layer of your teeth – the part that gives your smile its color – is called enamel. Enamel is incredibly strong, but it also contains microscopic pores on its surface. Over time, tiny particles of food that darken the teeth can seep into the enamel through these pores, causing the teeth to stain.

The Role of Tannins

Of the foods and beverages that are the biggest culprits of tooth discoloration, most of them are high in tannins. Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that give some foods and drinks their color. Historically, tannins have been used to tan animal hides.

When you consume items that are rich in tannins, the tannins interact with the numerous proteins, sugars, and bacteria in your mouth. Because tannins are sticky, harmful bacteria are likely to get attached to the tannins. While this can prevent the bacteria from creating cavity-causing plaque, they may also stick to the surface of the enamel and lead to staining.  

Preventing Tooth Stains

Of course, completely eliminating tannins from your diet is difficult. However, you can minimize their discoloring effects by sipping wine or coffee through a straw. That way, the beverage doesn’t access the front surfaces of your teeth as much. You should also try to brush your teeth – or at least rinse your mouth with water – after consuming foods and beverages with high tannin content.

If tannins have already dulled your pearly whites, your cosmetic dentist has a way of remedying the issue.

How Your Dentist Can Brighten Your Smile

While the teeth whitening products you find in stores rarely deliver dramatic results, ZOOM! Teeth Whitening from your dentist’s office is several times more potent. Using either in-office treatment or custom take-home trays, you can expect a smile that is multiple shades brighter. The results can also last for several months to a year or longer!

Since many popular foods and drinks can discolor your teeth, it’s important to be careful. Luckily, your dentist is always happy to help you achieve and maintain a bright, gorgeous grin!

About the Author

Dr. Joe Isaacson opened his Oklahoma City dental office in 1993 and has been providing local families with the personalized, comfortable care their smiles need ever since. He maintains active memberships in several professional organizations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Oklahoma Dental Association. He offers both in-office and take-home ZOOM! Teeth Whitening services at Joe Isaacson Dental, and he would love to help you smile brighter. To learn more about professional teeth whitening in Oklahoma City, contact Dr. Isaacson’s office at 405-943-8575.



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