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10 Food Items Make Your Teeth Go Yellow

Nobody wants yellow teeth if we can help it, right? But seeing as whitening treatments cost an arm and a leg, here's a DIY (read: cheap) way to keep your pearly whites shining bright: avoid certain foods and drinks. 

1.Lemon juice

"We think of hot water and lemon as being the ultimate in health, but citrus fruits like lemon and lime are very acidic and can erode teeth enamel," explains Dr Thorley. This reveals yellow tissue below the surface, hence the appearance of yellow teeth.

2.Red wine

"It’s the tannins in red wine that cause staining. In addition to causing that all too-familiar dry-mouth texture of wine, they also bind to the teeth, encouraging the pigment to latch on," says the dentist.


"In the same way beetroot stains your hands and chopping board, it can affect the whiteness of teeth, as it’s deeply coloured," Dr Thorley notes.

4.Balsamic vinegar

It might be a pre-meal staple along with bread and oil, but due to the sticky nature of balsamic vinegar, it can "latch onto teeth, which can lead to staining," the dentist says.


Even a brew has been blacklisted. "Tea causes teeth to stain worse than coffee, and it’s due to tannins again, which latch on to teeth. What’s more, the darker the colour of your tea, the greater the chance of staining," explains Dr Thorley. So that's bad news for black tea lovers, then. 


Your favourite Friday night takeaway might taste great, but "the tasty yellow spices in curries can be harsh on teeth thanks to their strong pigmentation," says the expert. "A curry should be a rare treat – your teeth will thank you," he adds.


"All fruit juice can cause discolouration," says Dr Thorley, "but richly pigmented fruits like cherries or berries are the worst culprits. In addition, fruit juice is packed with sugar, which can boost bacteria in the mouth, leading to more dental damage and discolouration."

8.Tomato sauce

"Tomatoes are highly acidic and brightly coloured, so tomato sauce and ketchup can cause staining and enamel erosion," the dentist notes.


Coffee might be part of your daily routine, but you can kiss goodbye to the idea of pearly whites if you can't give this habit up. "The enamel of your teeth has tiny pits and ridges that grips onto what we eat, especially if they are darker in colour – like coffee," explains Dr Thorley. "This can cause permanent yellow staining on your teeth. Plus, coffee is also very acidic, and acidic foods can be more harmful to your oral health."

10.Soy sauce

It goes great with sushi, sure, but it's not so top for your teeth. The dentist goes so far as to call soy sauce "one of the worst offenders for staining teeth, because the dark colouring of soy can linger long after your meal is over."

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