9 Things That Might Be Staining Your Teeth

When it comes to our teeth, we all want the same thing: a bright, radiant smile. But what many people don’t realize is that the first step to getting those pearly whites is building a foundation of strong and healthy enamel.

According to the American Dental Association, enamel — the calcified tissue that makes up a tooth’s outer layer — is particularly susceptible to damage because it’s not made up of living cells, and thus is unable to repair itself.

When this surface erodes, it exposes the softer underlying tissue — which, unfortunately, happens to be yellow — which can cause teeth to appear discolored and vulnerable to decay.

We put our teeth through a lot on a daily basis, but the biggest culprit of enamel breakdown may be the endless barrage of food and drink that make contact with our teeth every day. Foods that contain large amounts of sugar, acids, and pigment can be especially detrimental when it comes to keeping enamel strong and teeth white.

But here’s the good news: It is possible to protect your teeth without giving up your favorite foods. Cue the collective sigh of relief!

Enter Pronamel® Strong & Bright Enamel. This toothpaste’s formula strengthens acid-weakened enamel while simultaneously building up a defense against future damage with twice daily brushing, which means that you won’t have to completely cut anything out of your diet to get a smile that’s as healthy as it is beautiful. That being said, it's still helpful to be aware of those foods so you can protect your teeth as you enjoy them. Here are nine things that may be discoloring and weakening your teeth without you even realizing it:

1. Soy Sauce

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Wait, what? It turns out that our favorite condiment to add to sushi (and pretty much every noodle dish) can also do a number on our teeth — the dark pigments found in this classic sauce can stain your teeth. Just keep that in mind the next time you hit the all-you-can-eat sushi bar!

2. Citrus


Everyone knows that citrusy fruit is chock full of good stuff like Vitamin C. But did you know that oranges, lemons, and limes are also highly acidic and potentially harmful to teeth?

Frequent exposure to acidic foods like citrus fruits can weaken enamel, making teeth more susceptible to erosion over time.

3. Soda

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Your fave childhood beverage (and guiltiest adult pleasure) could very well be the cause of dental erosion and discoloration.

While all soft drinks contain acids that are linked to tooth decay, dark colored colas can be especially effective at staining your teeth. So if you're going to indulge every now and then, you should certainly be taking steps to fortify your enamel.

4. Red Wine

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Your nightly glass of vino might make you smile, but it might not be the best for your smile. Red wine contains acid that can wear down enamel, and that rich crimson color? Delicious, but unless you take steps to keep your enamel strong, it might settle into your teeth like that pinot stain on your couch!

5. Berries

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They’re sweet, they’re juicy, they’re downright delicious. But their vibrant color can cause staining, and their high citric acid content can lead to yellowing and tooth wear over time unless you're good to your tooth enamel.

6. Coffee


It turns out that the very stuff that makes coffee good for your health also makes it potentially harmful to your smile. The polyphenols and tannins found in your daily pick-me-up are good for the body but bad for teeth, and can cause erosion of enamel and dark, lingering stains.

7. Tomato Sauce


Your Sunday night spaghetti tradition may be good for the soul but it also might be rough on your smile. Tomato products are not only full of acids, but they're also darkly-pigmented — a not-so-good combo for your enamel.

8. Curry

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Curry’s vivid colors may look beautiful on your plate, but their hyper-pigmentation can contribute to the yellowing of your smile.

9. Balsamic Vinegar

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Balsamic vinegar is extremely acidic, making it a less-than-ideal food for your teeth. Choosing white balsamic will help you avoid excessive discoloration, but be aware that all vinegars contain a wealth of enamel-eroding acid.

This article is sponsored by Pronamel® Strong & Bright Enamel.