Find out which foods stain your teeth

December 22, 2011 8:51:24 PM PST
A lot of people are concerned about putting on weight over the holidays, but experts say some foods, common this time of year, can leave you with a different problem -- stained teeth.

Both coffee and tea can stain your teeth, but one tea lover learned from his dentist tea is worse. The reason is because the substance in tea leaves stick to teeth more than coffee.

"The tea or the coffee combines with the saliva and sticks to the teeth and then that's where the staining comes from," said Kourosh Maddahi, DDS, a cosmetic dentist.

Meddahi says while coffee, tea and soda are year-round threats to your teeth, the staining effects holiday foods like blueberry pie, cranberries and hot cocoa can last for months.

"The more porous the teeth are, the more staining that they get," said Maddahi.

He recommends brushing teeth or chewing sugar free gum immediately after eating, and use a straw when drinking.

"Drinking any tea or coffee with an open cup is what's more staining that anything else," said Maddahi.

On the flip side, some foods can actually whiten teeth.

"If you eat apple, celery, or strawberries, you can actually whiten your teeth faster and get rid of some of the staining you get from the other foods you eat during the holiday season," said Maddahi.

And of course teeth whiteners are always an option. Americans spend an estimated $1.4 billion on them every year.

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