Man is looking at out the window while on the phone and holding a cup of coffee.

Are stained teeth cramping your style? Discolored teeth can be dyahe and may even keep you from showing off your smile. However, it doesn’t always mean they are unhealthy or dirty. Read on for surprising things that can stain your pearly whites.

Why Are Some Teeth Yellow?

Teeth naturally come in various shades, ranging from bright white to yellow or translucent. But color isn't indicative of health. Many people have perfectly healthy yellow or translucent teeth as a product of genetics or even a side effect of medication. 

Stained teeth, on the other hand, are yellow or darkened because of external factors, such as diet and lifestyle. Discoloration can range from mild to severe and affect one or multiple teeth.

There are two types of stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains stick to the outside layer or enamel of the tooth. The pigmented residue is left on the tooth when you eat, which builds up over time and creates a stain. Intrinsic stains occur in the sensitive part of the tooth, which is underneath the enamel. The causes of this type of stain include trauma, medication, decay, aging, and fluoride.

Causes of Stained Teeth

Various factors can cause stained teeth. Here are some sneaky culprits to watch for.

Chugging sports drinks.

We know that coffee and tea are the top culprits of stained teeth, but sports drinks can also cause discoloration. These sugary drinks erode enamel, making it porous and susceptible to stains. According to the tiny bacteria that thrive between teeth react to the sugar in soft drinks and produce acid that can damage your teeth’s surface.

Eating acidic and dark-colored fruits.

While fruits are essential to a healthy diet, some are so acidic that they also break down enamel and expose the dentin, a porous layer of the teeth. When this happens, it becomes easier to stain them with dark-colored food and beverages, like coffee and tea. That said, you don’t need to remove fruits from your five-a-day. Simply rinsing your mouth after eating can help neutralize acids and reduce the risk of staining.

Getting older.

What does have to do with stained teeth? Dentin, which also gives teeth their natural color, can darken over time from exposure to food. As you age, your teeth lose their protective coating, making the dentin underneath more visible. Slow this process by avoiding sugary processed foods, which can also weaken tooth enamel over time.

Munching on potato chips.

Potato chips are rich in starch, which breaks down into acid. The bits of chips can get stuck between your teeth, making them susceptible to decay. So, think twice before grabbing another bag for Netflix and chill.

The chemicals in food and drinks make preventing stained teeth nearly impossible. However, there are things you can do to minimize their effects:

  • Use a straw when drinking. This way, you keep the liquid away from your teeth.
  • Rinse with water and brush your teeth after eating dark-colored and acidic food and drinks. Don’t brush your teeth right away. Doing so will damage the enamel as your toothpaste can react with acid.
  • Floss regularly to get rid of small particles between your teeth that can erode the enamel.
  • Maintain . Use Closeup Menthol Fresh Toothpaste with Antibacterial Zinc for all-day fresh breath for up to 12 hours, with regular use.

Your stained teeth are hardly a measure of your health, but it might knock a few points off the pogi meter. Just watch what you eat, be committed to dental hygiene, and you’ll be ready to flash those pearly whites any time.