10 Foods To Avoid If You Want White Teeth

Steer clear of these if you want a dazzling smile.

10/10/2016 11:49 | Updated 10 October 2016

We all know things like smoking and drinking too much red wine can make your teeth look dull, but they aren’t the only culprits.

Dentist Tariq Idrees has revealed the ten foods to avoid if you don’t want yellow teeth, including some more surprising consumables like white wine, ketchup and fruit tea. 

He said: “The basic rule I follow when advising patients on which foods to avoid to minimise teeth staining is to steer clear of foods which you would not want to spill on your clothing.”

Here are the foods you need to cut down on for the sake of your pearly whites:

  • White Wine
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    “White wine is more acidic than red, which may cause more damage and discolouration to the teeth. Its acid and tannins make your teeth fair game for other types of stains. Cutting down will definitely help to keep your teeth white.”
  • Pasta Sauce
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    “Tomatoes in pasta sauce can leave your teeth vulnerable to staining because of their acidity, bright red colour and tendency to cling to the teeth. You can protect your teeth beforehand by dining on some dark green vegetables - broccoli, kale, rocket or spinach - to create a protective film over the teeth. The film will ward off tomatoes’ staining effect, so opt for a green salad as a starter.”
  • Soy Sauce & Balsamic Vinegar
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    "Soy sauce and balsamic vinegar are a nightmare to get off your clothes if you spill them while eating a Chinese takeaway or a salad. They are best avoided if you want to keep your smile bright."
  • Curry
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    "All Indian food which is rich in colour is bad for your teeth. It tends to be made with lots of artificial colouring. Go easy on turmeric when you are making a curry at home or doing other spicing."
  • Ice Lollies
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    “Lollies contain colourants that will transfer to the teeth and embed in the porous enamel.”
  • Fruit Tea
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    "We all know that tea and coffee can stain our teeth but this is not just confined to regular teas and coffee - all types of tea stain your teeth, particularly fruit based teas: green tea and strawberry and raspberry teas. They are rich in colour and rich in tannins which leave surface staining on your teeth."
  • Pickles
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    “Again it is the acid - which makes your teeth vulnerable to staining.”
  • Berries
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    “Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries - all berries rich in colour should be avoided if you want a bright smile. The acid and the strong colours easily stain your teeth.”
  • Cola
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    “They are highly acidic and rich in colour - very bad for staining.”
  • Tomato Ketchup
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    “Ketchup is acidic and rich in colour - not good for teeth staining. Just think how tough it is to get a ketchup stain of a t-shirt. It’s the same with your teeth.”

If you love tomato ketchup and white wine too much to give up, Idrees, from Carisbrook Dental in Manchester, said you can minimise the damage by cleaning your teeth straight after consuming them.

“But this will only remove between 50-60% of the staining,” he added.

“No matter how hard you brush, there will always be some staining. The good news is this kind of staining can easily be removed by an effective course of bleaching from an experienced dentist.

“We don’t tend to recommend whitening toothpastes because they can do more harm than good. They can destroy the natural protection which your teeth have.”

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