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  • Writer's pictureADentalTip

What causes Extrinsic Teeth Stains?

No one likes having stains on their teeth. For some people, having stained teeth can prevent or reduce the amount of times they smile throughout the day. Luckily, most teeth stains are removable and preventable, so today we'll be sharing with you some popular tooth-staining foods and drinks and how you can prevent or reduce these stains from appearing on your pearly whites.

What causes Teeth stains?

The cause of extrinsic teeth stains (stains on the outer surface of the tooth) are pigments and tannins in the foods and drinks you consume. These pigments or tannins are what gives these foods and drinks their color. When you consume them, they will also adhere to the outer surface of your teeth (especially if they have plaque or tartar on them) and stain them.

Most of these stains are caused by foods and drinks that some of us consume on a daily basis, here is a list of some popular tooth-staining foods and drinks.


This is probably not a surprise to most of you. From our experience working in the dental field, we can safely say that coffee stains are one of the most common type of stains we see on a daily basis. A good way to reduce the amount and intensity of these stains is by diluting the coffee with milk and reduce the amount of time you spend drinking it (i.e. finish your cup of coffee in 10 minutes instead of 30 minutes). This will reduce the amount of time that these staining agents spend making contact with your tooth enamel.

2. TEA

Although Tea stains are not as intense as coffee stains, they still are a common stain we encounter. Unlike coffee, these stains can vary from green (green tea) to black-brown (black tea) depending on the type of tea you're drinking.


Both Red and White wines have tannins that can cause staining. However Red wine will cause more stains than white wine, but don't let that stop you from celebrating a special occasion with a glass of wine!


We like to eat a lot of berries on a daily basis. Although our good oral habits certainly decrease the amount of stains we get, we are still prone to getting some of these stains. Berries are a healthy and yummy snack, but be aware that consuming them, especially black berries, blueberries and raspberries will certainly cause some discoloration of your teeth.


Drinks such as tomato juice, cranberry juice and berry smoothie all contain pigments that will stain your teeth.

How to prevent teeth stains?

Here are some good ways to prevent your teeth from getting too many stains.

- Rinse your mouth with water after consuming any of the foods and drinks mentioned above, this will decrease the amount of staining particles that sit on and around your teeth.

- Try drinking with a straw. This will reduce the amount of stains you'll get on your front teeth.

- Chew gum to stimulate salivary flow and dilute staining agents.

- Visit your Dentist! Having GOOD oral hygiene and getting regular teeth cleanings from your dental hygienist can help prevent and remove stains on your teeth.

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