A lot of the foods and drinks that we love can lead to teeth with a yellow, brown, orange, or even green discoloration. While there are several treatments that can whiten your teeth, it’s better to avoid the problem in the first place (if at all possible).

This means understanding what these foods have that makes them so detrimental to a bright, white smile, and which foods have them in significant doses that you may want to change some of your habits.

The three elements that cause discoloration are:

  1. Chromogens – Deep, dark pigments.
  2. Tannins – An astringent used to tan leather, dye fabric, and make ink.
  3. Acids – Chemicals that soften the enamel and make it vulnerable to other stainers.

Mix these three together in different ratios, and you get some of the worst stainers, which include:

  1. Red wine
  2. Tea
  3. Coffee
  4. Cola/Sports drinks
  5. Berries
  6. Tobacco
  7. Sauces

One important thing to keep in mind is that all of these foods and drinks lead to what we call “extrinsic” stains. That means they are problems on the surface of the teeth and, in general, can be reduced through cosmetic whitening. If you start to notice your teeth aren’t as bright as they once were, make get it taken care of as quickly as possible.