What foods should I avoid to keep my teeth healthy and white?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
The good news is that along with being generally good for you, certain fruits and vegetables come equipped with smile-maintaining and smile-protecting powers. Foods that require a lot of chewing, like apples, celery and carrots whiten teeth naturally because they're like stain exfoliants. You know how great your skin looks and feels after you've used a facial scrub? These foods perform the same kind of sloughing action on teeth, helping to keep them clear of clingy stains. Greens like spinach, broccoli and lettuce, also prevent staining because they create a film over teeth that actually acts as a barrier. So, be sure to order a side of spinach the next time you're enjoying that fine glass of Bordeaux at your favorite restaurant.
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Dante A. Gonzales, DMD
Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics
Red wine, coffee and some teas tend to stain teeth because they have a lot of pigment. In this video Dante Gonzales, DMD, explains how you can still enjoy these beverages while minimizing the staining on your teeth.

Some foods can affect the color of teeth as well as the health of teeth.

  • Avoid sugary foods. Sugar that is left on the teeth for periods of time attacks the enamel, as well as can lead to cavities. 
  • Avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, red wine, soda and other darkly colored beverages.

Brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste helps clear food from the teeth. Chewing gum after meals when you're not able to brush also helps as saliva also helps by bathing the teeth and clearing the sugars or food off teeth.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The following are some foods you should avoid to keep your teeth healthy:
  • Baked goods like muffins often contain simple sugars that cause tooth decay.
  • White wine and pickles are very acidic foods that break down tooth enamel.
Peggy Rosen

Foods to avoid to keep your teeth healthy and white are:

  1. Avoid starchy foods like chips, white bread, cookies, white pasta
  2. Avoid foods or snacks that contain high contents of white sugar or syrup
  3. Avoid drinking tea,coffee or other colored beverages
  4. Avoid all candies
To keep your teeth healthy and white, limit your intake of sugary drinks (regular soda, fruit juices) and foods that are especially high in sugar, like candy. That deprives the bacteria that live in your mouth of the sugar they use to produce enamel-destroying acid that can cause tooth decay. To keep your teeth white, avoid tea, coffee, red wine, and cola-type sodas. All of these drinks can give your teeth a yellowish or brownish tint.
Avoiding excessive amounts of soda pop, coffee and tea will reduce stain build up. Soda pop will not only stain your teeth but also due to its acid content will also chemically erode the enamel. The thinner enamel allows the darker under color of the tooth to show.

Continue Learning about Diet & Your Teeth

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.