How to Avoid and Treat Sneaky Smile Stains

How to Avoid and Treat Sneaky Smile Stains featured image
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This article first appeared in the Winter 2023 issue of New Beauty. Click here to subscribe

No one wants to feel like they have to hide their smile, but noticeable staining can make it hard to confidently “say cheese.” A recent study conducted by Byte even revealed that 51 percent of Americans are insecure about their smiles. Here’s what the pros have to say about avoiding and treating sneaky stains.

1 / 6

Finicky Fruits

“Eating lots of fruits and veggies is great, but it can also cause staining. If you eat blueberries every day, you’re not going to have blue teeth, but you will notice shade differences because darker foods—even smoothies— can stain teeth gray or brown.”

Jason Kasarsky, New York Cosmetic Dentist

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Consistency Is Key

“The best ways to deal with staining are regular cleanings, whitening toothpaste, in-office whitening treatments, and at-home white strips or pens for maintenance. A surprising fact is that white wine can also promote staining because of the acidity! It’s not just about the color of the food, but the acidity as well.”

Dr. Victoria Veystman, New York Cosmetic Dentist

3 / 6

Sneaky Superfoods

“Most people know about coffee, tea and red wine stains, but one surprising thing that can also stain pearly whites is matcha. The green drink can stain any surface of natural teeth, so while we love it for its antioxidants, remember to brush after.”

Jennifer Back, Sarasota, FL Cosmetic Dentist

4 / 6

Tricky Turmeric

“Many people don’t know that turmeric-heavy foods and supplements can cause staining and discoloration. I’m not an advocate for changing one’s diet, but I do recommend rinsing or brushing your teeth soon after consuming stain-causing ingredients to prevent damage from occurring.”

Joseph Field, Los Altos, CA Cosmetic Dentist

5 / 6

Timing Matters

“The best way to prevent stains is to avoid prolonged exposure to drinks—coffee, tea and red wine—that create them. But, if you do enjoy these things, keep the exposure time down. Do not ‘graze’ on your morning coffee all day.”

Timothy Chase, New York Cosmetic Dentist

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Tough Tannins

“Staining on the teeth is caused by chemicals called tannins. Not only do they cause discoloration and visible staining, but the acid damage can also lead to cavities. In addition to foods and drinks, tannins are also found in cigarettes and vapes, so avoiding these is one of the best ways to prevent stains.”

Joe Kravitz, Rockville, MD Cosmetic Dentist

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