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Does Food Coloring Stain Teeth?

by | Aug 7, 2018 | oral hygiene

One of the best ways to maintain a white and bright smile, whether you’re wearing braces or not, is to do an excellent job with your oral hygiene. But you also must watch what you eat as some foods can stain and discolor your teeth.

Many people believe that food coloring found in many foods can stain their teeth. The truth is, however, that food coloring is not teeth-staining. Of course, if you were to eat something like a cupcake that’s topped with orange frosting containing food coloring. your teeth may look slightly orange after you’re finished enjoying the treat. However, this discoloration is temporary as all you need to do is brush and floss your teeth well to remove the temporary discoloration.

Foods That Do Stain Teeth

There are certain foods that can stain and discolor teeth. If you want to keep your smile white and bright, limit your consumption of the foods below.

Pasta Sauces

The tomatoes in red pasta sauces are very acidic and tend to cling to the teeth, leaving your teeth vulnerable to staining. Before eating pasta sauce, eat some dark green vegetables like kale or broccoli first so there’s a protective film over your teeth. This will help prevent the tomatoes from staining your teeth.


Curry is a dark yellow spice used in many dishes that can discolor teeth. To keep your teeth white and bright, limit your consumption of curry dishes. When you do enjoy something spiced with curry, eat some vegetables and fresh fruits at the same time to help reduce the tooth-staining effects.

Balsamic Vinegar

Used often in salad dressings, balsamic vinegar which is very dark colored, can stain and discolor teeth. If you do consume this vinegar, rinse your mouth out with water afterward and then brush your teeth as soon as possible to reduce the effects of staining.


Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all full of antioxidants that are good for you. However, these berries can also stain your teeth and even if they’re processed in jams and jellies. Just drink some water after enjoying berries or head to the nearest restroom to brush and floss your teeth.

Whether you’re wearing conventional metal braces, removable aligners or are now done with your orthodontic treatment, it’s important to take good care of your teeth. Be sure to do an excellent job with your oral hygiene and limit your consumption of the above foods that can stain and discolor your teeth.