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Dr. Samir G. Ayoub

Teeth-Staining Foods to Avoid

Submitted by Dr. Samir Ayoub on May 12, 2017 - 9:00 am
Foods that stain your teeth

If you want to keep your teeth pearly white, it is important to understand the staining effects that your diet can have. Eating certain colorful foods, like berries and tomato sauce, can lead to discolored or yellow teeth. Read on as San Francisco cosmetic dentist Dr. Samir Ayoub discusses five foods that stain your teeth.


The sour taste that makes pickles so delicious is acidic and can erode tooth enamel, leading to stains. For a crunchy snack, try replacing pickles with crudités like carrots, celery and red bell peppers.

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar may be a healthy dressing for salads and other dishes, but it is very acidic, dark in color and can stick to the teeth. Try to limit balsamic vinegar as a salad dressing only; crunching on lettuce in your salad may make it less likely that the vinegar stains your teeth.


Though highly flavorful, curry dishes contain spices like turmeric that are deeply pigmented and can leave teeth looking yellow. Use moderation when adding in these spices, and try mixing fruits and vegetables like apples and celery into the dish to crunch on and reduce staining.


The rich color of blackberries, strawberries and raspberries can stick to tooth enamel and cause staining. This is a risk when eating berries whole, drinking berry juice or eating berry jam. If you drink berry juice, use a straw so it doesn’t make contact with your teeth.

Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are richly colored and acidic — the perfect combination for teeth staining. Experts believe that eating dark green vegetables creates a protective film over the teeth to ward off stains, so try adding a serving of spinach or broccoli to your meal before enjoying your pasta or pizza. It can’t hurt!

Beverages that Can Stain Teeth

Many of your favorite beverages, including coffee, tea, sodas, sports drinks, red and white wine, can cause the teeth to yellow, stain and discolor with their pigments and acid content. Like you do with juice, use a straw to limit contact between the beverage and your teeth.

What to Do about Stained Teeth

If you enjoy these foods and beverages too much to give them up (or you want the nutritional value of some of these foods), you can reduce your risk of stains and discoloration by rinsing your mouth right after eating or drinking.

A more effective option is to have professional teeth whitening treatment with Dr. Ayoub. Chair-side teeth whitening can lighten teeth numerous shades in less than an hour. Dr. Ayoub monitors treatment to reduce the chances of teeth sensitivity.

Contact San Francisco Aesthetic Dentistry Today

To learn more about professional teeth whitening treatment, please call San Francisco Aesthetic Dentistry at (415) 781-2227 or send us an email today.