14 Foods (Other Than Coffee) That are Causing Your Teeth to Turn Yellow

FOOD  |  February 21, 2018
  • Protect your pearly whites.
    1 / 15 Protect your pearly whites.

    Not sporting the perfect pearly white teeth like those celebrities on-screen? You are not alone. Teeth naturally have a yellow or grey tint to them depending on the hues of the outer and inner layers of your teeth. However, foods high in pigment-producing substances like tannins may deepen the stains. While you may be aware of the common culprits like coffee, here are 14 other foods that are causing your teeth to turn yellow.

    (Also read: Foods That Damage Your Teeth)

    All photos: 123rf.com

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  • Black tea
    2 / 15 Black tea

    Between coffee and tea, you may think that tea is the lesser of both evils. But tea contains tannins, a yellowish or brownish substance that will stain your teeth. According to a study by the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, adding milk to your teas can significantly reduce the effects of staining. Alternatively, choose green or white teas, which cause less staining.

    (Also read: The Pros and Cons of Drinking Coffee, According to a Doctor)

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  • Berries
    3 / 15 Berries

    Berries are often the go-to superfood. But their antioxidants and minerals come at a price. The deep colours from their juice and skin can cause staining. The trick is to not let them linger in your mouth for too long and to wash them down with water to minimise staining.


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  • Candies
    4 / 15 Candies

    Colourful and hard candies are loaded with artificial colouring and sugar. Sugar will turn acidic in your mouth and chewing on hard candy will damage the surface of your teeth. The artificial colouring will then be more easily absorbed by your teeth.  A general guideline – if the candy stains your tongue, it is likely to stain your teeth too.

    (Also read: 5 Amazing Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Sugar (And How To Actually Do It))

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  • Fruit juices
    5 / 15 Fruit juices

    The acidity of fruit juice will wear down the enamel (external layer) on your teeth, causing them to be more prone to absorbing colours from your foods. The worst juices to avoid are berry flavoured ones like cranberry juice because they are more highly pigmented. 

    (Also read: Fruit Juice is Not Much Better Than Sugar Water)

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  • Red wines
    6 / 15 Red wines

    Red wines are acidic and contain tannins and chromogens, which are a type of compound with pigments that cling onto enamel. The substances present in red wines are a triple whammy and will work together to stain your teeth fast.

    (Also read: How to Remove Stubborn Stains (Coffee Stains, Wine Stains And More!))

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  • Soft drinks
    7 / 15 Soft drinks

    The acidity of soft drinks will wear the enamel on your teeth out over time making them more susceptible to discolouration. They also contain chromogens that will cling onto enamel. Even clear coloured sodas will not make a difference as they have the same acidity as dark coloured ones.


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  • Balsamic vinegar
    8 / 15 Balsamic vinegar

    This unsuspecting salad dressing may be turning your teeth yellow due to its dark colour. It is also highly acidic, which could erode the teeth’s enamel to trap stains from other pigmented foods  But lettuce is able to provide a protective film over your teeth so it will help If you eat a couple of lettuce leaves before adding the dressing.

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  • Sports drinks
    9 / 15 Sports drinks

    Sports drinks are no better than soft drinks. Dental researchers from New York University found that sports drinks may lead to erosive tooth wear where acids corrode the enamel of your teeth and trickle into the inner layer. While brushing your teeth may help, it is advisable to wait 30 minutes before brushing to allow the enamel to re-harden as it has been soften by the acidity of your beverage.

    (Also read: When Do You Need A Sports Drink?)



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  • Curries and tomato sauces
    10 / 15 Curries and tomato sauces

    These delicious sauces are acidic and also deeply pigmented to cause the colours to cling onto teeth. Lighter coloured sauces cause less staining. It will also help if you rinse your mouth after eating. Like with sports drinks, it is advisable to give the enamel on your teeth up to 30 minutes to re-harden before brushing. 

    (Also read: 8 Common Mistakes You Make While Brushing Your Teeth)

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  • Beets
    11 / 15 Beets

    The intense colour of beets is sure to stain your teeth immediately. However, don’t eliminate them from your diet as they come with plenty of health-boosting substances like fibre and vitamin C. As beets are not acidic, it is okay to rinse and brush your teeth thoroughly right after eating them to minimise staining.

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  • Citrus fruits
    12 / 15 Citrus fruits

    Many celebrities swear by drinking hot water and lemon every morning for their health. But acidic fruits like lemon and lime can erode the enamel on your teeth over time. This will not only reveal the naturally yellow tissue beneath, but also leave your teeth more vulnerable to stains from other foods.

    (Also read: 10 Unexpected Ways to Use Lemons)

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  • Energy bars
    13 / 15 Energy bars

    Energy bars often come with a sticky layer that will easily get stuck in crevices of your teeth for bacteria to feed on and thrive. This will soften the enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to stains. Even worse: energy bars that come with dark-coloured dried fruits.

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  • Popsicles
    14 / 15 Popsicles

    Icy cold popsicles weaken the enamel to make it more susceptible to stains. Needless to say, these brightly- coloured popsicles are also heavily laden with artificial colouring and sugars – all stain-inducing and damaging to your teeth.

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  • Chocolates
    15 / 15 Chocolates

    The combination of tannins and sugar in chocolate will inevitably result in dark stains or even decays. The stickiness of chocolate will also cling onto your teeth for bacteria to feed on. This may destroy the enamel and cause decays.

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