What Can I Do About My Stained Teeth?


Many of my patients want a whiter and brighter smile. They worry that their discolored teeth are unattractive and unhealthy and want to know how to remove stains from teeth. Knowing what causes stains on teeth and how to avoid staining can help everyone have a healthy smile. 

Here are some common causes of stained teeth and ways to reduce or eliminate the source of discoloration:

What Stains Your Teeth?


Tea and coffee. Both can stain teeth, but tea — especially the basic black variety — can cause more stains than coffee. Herbal and white teas wear away the enamel on your teeth, making them vulnerable to stains.

Sports drinks and carbonated sodas. Acidic sports or energy drinks and carbonated sodas erode enamel, setting the stage for stains. Cutting down on soda and drinking water during workouts is a better choice.

Wine. If a food or drink can stain a tablecloth, it can stain your teeth. Most people know that red wine will discolor teeth. Not as well known is that white wine, which has even more acid, also can.

Sauces. Deeply colored sauces — like soy, tomato, and curry — also cause stains.

Fruits and Berries. Vibrant fruits like blueberries, blackberries, and cherries – and the juices and pies that are made from them –can stain teeth. Try to brush and floss after eating them.  

Smoking. Smoking is well known to cause stains and discoloration on teeth.

How to Avoid Teeth Stains


Drink Water. Substitute water for carbonated sodas and sports or energy drinks, Even during sports contests or workouts, water is a healthier way to keep hydrated.

Rinse After Eating. Swish your mouth with water right after you eat or drink something that can stain. If you can’t brush after a snack or meal, chewing a piece of sugarless gum will help.

Quit Smoking. The best way to avoid stains caused by smoking is to quit.

Regular Dental Care. Brush and floss daily and get a dental check-up and cleaning twice a year.

Some stained teeth need a treatment – like whitening or dental scaling and polishing. If you are concerned about stains on teeth, ask your dentist to help you determine the best way to achieve your goal of a whiter and brighter smile.

Remember, beautiful teeth are healthy teeth!

Dr. Nishan Halim


Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. Dr. Halim recommends Opalescence Tooth Whitening Systems for his patients. Opalescence  offers a variety of options to fit your budget AND your lifestyle! To find out more schedule an appointment at your convenience.


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