Foods that Stain Teeth | A Family-Friendly Quiz from Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS

woman answering dentistry quiz

Test your dental health knowledge with this quick quiz on foods that can stain the teeth. Answers provided by Edmond, Oklahoma, dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS.

True or False? Coffee can stain the teeth worse than any other drink.

FALSE: Coffee, explains Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS, does stain teeth; however, tea is far more likely to cause permanent discoloration. Teas – like coffee — contain acids that rough up the surface of the teeth, leaving them more prone to stains. Teas have another factor working against the teeth, says Dr. Johnson, and that’s tannins. Tannins are plant-derived compounds that actually make it easier for certain types of stains to stick to the teeth.

True or False? White wine doesn’t affect the teeth.

FALSE: White wine is a better choice than red where teeth shade is concerned but it’s not a safe bet against yellowing. Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS, reports that white wines are full of acids and contain a moderate level of tannins as well. Regular white wine consumption leaves the teeth vulnerable to stains from other brightly hued foods, even naturally colored fruits and vegetables.

True or False? Colored sports drinks can discolor teeth, especially exposed root surfaces.

TRUE: According to Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS, any artificially-colored confection (including sports drinks, lolly pops, and dyed ice-cream), are color-staining culprits. He cautions against favoring colored beverages over water as, after a while, the aggressive dyes will overshadow the teeth’s natural color.

True or False? If it stain clothes, it’ll stain teeth.

TRUE: Fruits, especially berries, are high in enamel-loving chromogens – a compound found in strongly pigmented foods.

True or False? Using a straw to drink certain liquids helps reduce discoloration.

TRUE: Straws force liquid past the teeth, to the roof of the mouth, and down the throat where they belong, says Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS.

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