Stained teeth?

Many of us love to drink red wine, coffee or tea but we equally love our white teeth. Unfortunately the two things don’t always go together! At JL Dental Care we have witnessed many patients who have been consuming strongly coloured liquids or foods (like curries or highly spiced meals) for years and notice their smile start to lose its brightness. In this article we will discuss why and how these types of food and drinks affect the teeth enamel and also provide you with a few handy tips to keep your teeth white!

Why Does Red Wine or Coffee Stain Your Teeth?

Our tooth enamel undergoes changes as the years pass, for example lines and cracks form on the tooth surface. When we eat or drink substances that contain acids, chromogens (foods with pigments) and tannins, these foods or drinks leave stains behind in these small crevices. Tannins can be found in red wine, tea and coffee, as we know, but also in a whole list of other foods, such as grapes, pomegranates, berries, chocolate, and even things like rhubarb, squash, chickpeas and beans. This is not to say that we mustn’t eat these nutritious foods if we want our teeth to stay white, but if we can identify them we can take steps to prevent them doing their worst. Another thing to avoid is artificially brightly coloured food such as sweets, ice lollies and coloured soft drinks. Berries, cola, tomato and curry sauces can be very highly coloured too. The food dye in them is quite aggressive and easily transfers to your teeth.

Which is Worse for Your Teeth – Tea or Coffee?

It may surprise you that although our beloved morning coffee, which is high in chromogens and acid, is in fact not as bad as tea. Britain’s favourite beverage is slightly worse for the colour of our enamel with higher levels of tannins. Likewise, red wine contains lots of tannins and chromogens (as the ruby-red colour suggests) compared to white wine and is highly acidic.

How to Lessen the Staining on your Teeth

Some staining is unavoidable, unfortunately. We cannot all live on grapefruit, cauliflower, cheese or other colourless foods! The first step is to use an electric toothbrush when cleaning your teeth in the morning and evening. Regularly attending your dental hygiene appointment will give us the opportunity to remove some of the staining.

If you find that staining has become very noticeable and you do not feel comfortable about it, you might consider a tooth whitening treatment. These treatments are effective and safe when carried out under the supervision of an experienced dental practice such as JL Dental Care.

Our aim is to give the best care and help make you confident in your teeth and your smile.

If you would like to come in for a consultation for teeth whitening please call us on 020 8958 0136 or email

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