In this day and age, many people are using teeth whitening products or turning to their dentist for professional teeth whitening. While it is great that there are so many options for whitening teeth, it is important to know what foods, drinks, and habits cause discoloration and staining of teeth so you can avoid those things. The last thing you want to do is invest money into products and services to whiten your teeth only to continue doing things that will discolor them. Some of the top things that discolor teeth and counteract teeth whitening products or procedures include the following:

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are incredibly popular beverages, but if you want a bright white smile, they should only be consumed in moderation. Both coffee and tea are acidic and pigmented, so regularly drinking both or one or the other will lead to yellow teeth over time. Tea may be even more staining than coffee, since it also contains tannins, which are compounds that make it easier for stains to stick to the surface of teeth.


Smoking is a habit that can drastically harm your health while also staining your teeth. Nicotine stains will eventually build up on the teeth after years of smoking, and the other compounds found in cigarettes will discolor your teeth over time. If you currently smoke, quitting will be great for your health and your smile--consider rewarding yourself with a professional teeth whitening treatment to restore the color of your teeth after you kick the habit for good.

Drinking Wine

Many people like to have a glass of wine after work or while having dinner with friends. While wine may taste good, it can wreak havoc on the color of your teeth. Red wine is highly pigmented, acidic, and full of tannins, so drinking it regularly can lead to noticeable teeth discoloration. While white wine is light in color, it is also very acidic and has a lot of tannins; it won't leave the same dark red stains that red wine does, but the combination of acid and tannins can weaken the enamel on the surface of your teeth and make them more prone to staining.

Common Food Dyes

If you've ever had a lollipop, hard piece of candy, or a brightly colored sports drink, you may notice that your toungue is a different color after consuming it. Food dye may technically be safe to consume, it can be very hard on your teeth. If you don't want these strong colors to stain your teeth, avoid eating or drinking items that contain food dye. 

For more information on teeth whitening and how to preserve your white teeth, contact a dental clinic in your area, such as Steliotes Dental Spa.