5 Ways You Could Be Staining Your Teeth

Could these common habits be causing discolouration and staining to your teeth?

There are several things your dentist may be able to do for you to whiten your teeth, but there are a number of ways you can help to protect your enamel from stains in your everyday life. Here are five things which could be staining your pearly whites, and what you can do to limit their effects. 

Drinking tea

Surprisingly, the nation’s favourite beverage is worse for staining your teeth than coffee. Its dark pigmentation, acidity, and tannins will all contribute to the discolouration of teeth over time. To help combat the staining effect, rinse your mouth with water after finishing your cup. Swishing a mouthful of water around your teeth will help to wash away any residue and help to keep your teeth white. 


In addition to a whole range of potentially fatal conditions linked to smoking, the tar and nicotine present in cigarettes can cause yellow or brown stains on your teeth. During repeated exposure, these substances work their way in to the microscopic openings in tooth enamel and lead to discolouration. To avoid tobacco staining, giving up smoking is your best option, but brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth once a day can help to fight the effects of staining. It’s best to avoid ‘smoker’s toothpaste’ though, as this is usually very abrasive and can damage teeth.

Red wine

We often hear about how a glass of red wine can be good for your health, but it’s nowhere near as good for your teeth. Not only is it acidic, but it also contains tannins and strong pigments that cling to your enamel and stain teeth. Drinking through a straw is a good option to help reduce the staining effect of red wine. Since the straw pulls the liquid straight to the roof of your mouth, it bypasses your teeth and reduces the amount of exposure of your enamel receives from the wine.  

Soft drinks

The high sugar content in most soft drinks isn’t the only thing you should be worried about – the colouring and acidity are also bad news for your teeth. The dark colour pigments in Colas may yellow teeth over time, and even clear soft drinks can soften and roughen your tooth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to staining. Switching to water flavoured with mint and cucumber slices is a tooth-friendly alternative, although if you must fizzy drinks, try soda water.


Strongly coloured sweets, lollipops, and ice lollies are all bad news for your teeth. The prolonged exposure of the sweet against your teeth means that your teeth will be in contact with any brightly coloured pigments present, increasing your risk for staining. If you’re after a sweet treat, dark chocolate is thought to have an antibacterial effect which fights dental plaque, making it less damaging for your teeth.

5 Ways you could be staining your teeth
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