Top 5 food and drinks that will discolour your teeth the fastest!

In an effort to serve our Hamilton dental patients, we wanted to produce this quick guide about teeth discolouring. Enjoy!

Before we delve into the Top 5 we wanted to explain why tooth discolouration happens in the first place. 

Why do my teeth not stay white?

Tooth discolouration is caused due to thinning of the tooth enamel and the increase of chromogens.Chromogens are intensely pigmented molecules which have the tendency to hold on to enamel found in teeth, this coupled with a food compound called tannins causes staining by enabling the chromogens to hold on to the teeth more easily.  

Main reasons for staining. 

Age, as people age, the enamel in the teeth becomes thinner which exposes the yellowish dentin that can be found underneath.

Smoking, the chemicals found in tobacco greatly speed up the process of tooth discolouration

Highly coloured food and drinks, the acid found in food and drink colourings wipes off the dental enamel which will make the teeth temporarily soft which then gives a way for the chromogens to hold on to your teeth. 

Ok so now you should have a better understanding as to why your teeth don’t stay white now let's look at the top 5 foods and drinks that stain your teeth the most. 

Here are the top 5 foods that cause teeth discolouration

Wine – This is a sad fact because wine is so good, but it is the number 1 cause of teeth discoloration. This is an acidic drink which contains tannins and chromogens is well-known for causing teeth discoloration. A study shows that the teeth become severely stained if you drink tea after drinking white wine.  So you might want to make up your mind when wanting to take tea or wine because you can’t have both at the same time.

Tea – Specifically the black tea is very right in tannins which boost the chromogens. Experts say that it causes more chances of getting your teeth stained compared to coffee. Coffee is rich in chromogens, but contains less tannin. The white and green teas won’t cause any stain on the teeth compared to what black tea does.

Coke – This is both acidic and contains chromogens which significantly causes staining. Even the mildly coloured drink contains enough acid to cause staining. The acid content of any carbonated drink have the same level of acidity in them. This mostly happens to people who like to sip on their coke all day. 

Sports drink – This is also an intensely coloured drink and they are highly acidic causing the enamel to become thinner making them prone to staining.


Berries – Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, grapes, pomegranate, cherries, and other fruits with intense colour causes teeth discoloration . Even the pies and cakes that contain these fruits can cause teeth discoloration.