Your Defensive Diet for White Teeth: 5 Dietary Swaps

May 8, 2015 6:00:00 AM Cheryl Fenton White Teeth, Food & Drink

There's yet another reason to watch what you eat. Some of your favorite foods and drinks can discolor your teeth, leaving them a few shades less than pearly.

According to dental experts, if something can stain a white cotton T-shirt, it can stain your choppers. By swapping out a few common offenders, you’ll increase your chances for a healthier, brighter smile. Check out these defensive diet substitutions for white teeth.


The Culprit: Red wine

What it Does: Your favorite Merlot is a no-no for white teeth. Not only is its rich red color an obvious perpetrator, but this indulgence is a triple threat of aggressive teeth strainers – acid (which eats away at teeth enamel), chromogens (intensely-pigmented compounds) and tannins (which adhere to plaque and cause yellowish discoloration).

Opt for: White wine has fewer tannins than red, so you can raise a glass to whiter teeth. But there’s a caveat. Studies have shown that drinking a cup of tea right after your white wine could still turn your teeth dingy, so avoid your nighttime cup of Earl Gray après-Chardonnay.

Berries_-_White_Teeth_-_Yellow_TeethThe Culprit: Darkly colored fruits (think blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapes, pomegranates)

What it Does: Their intense reds, blues and purples give these fruits their beneficial nutritional power, but there’s a trade off. The colors can stain your teeth quicker than you can say “blueberry pie.”

Opt for: Strawberries. Despite their bright red color, strawberries surprisingly don’t stain teeth. They have been known to help whiten teeth instead of hinder like their colorful cousins. Their malic acid content is a natural astringent that actually helps remove superficial staining. 


The Culprit: Sugary sodas and sports drinks (Coke and Red Bull, we’re looking at you)

What it Does: These energizing drinks are made almost entirely of simple sugars. One sip, and the bacteria in your mouth goes to work breaking those sugars down. Next up is a ton of acid production, which can erode tooth enamel and create pits where cavities can form and stains can take over. Although the fizz is refreshing, it’s also the acidic bubbles that cause erosion and soften enamel, creating rough patches that stain easily.

Opt for: Clear, non-sugary drinks like soda water, tonic or sugar-free sodas


The Culprit: Coffee

What it Does: You might not be able to live without your AM boost, but at the end of the day your teeth won’t be thrilled. Coffee is one of the worst drinks for keeping a bright smile.

Opt for: A cup of tea. But don’t reach for traditional black leaves, which are full of stain-promoting tannins. Instead opt for herbal, green, and white teas. Bonus: The fluoride in green tea has been shown to strengthen teeth while also killing bacteria that causes bad breath. 

Already have great eating habits? Tweak them to boost your teeth whitening efforts.

  • While veggies are healthy choices to pack on your plate, make them work double time to whiten your teeth by swapping out steamed ones with raw. Not only do you get more vitamins and minerals when they’re uncooked, but munching on raw vegetables like broccoli, carrots and celery can help scrub off dental stains. The crisp, crunchy textures help strengthen gums and dislodge food debris.
  • Your regular toothpaste may give you that just-brushed breath, but swap it with Luster Power White Deep Stain Eraser® Toothpaste gives you a tooth-whitening boost to your morning routine! This refreshing minty toothpaste contains fluoride for everyday mouth health and peroxide to rid of bad breath and whiten those teeth. It even has 2X the whitening power as the leading brand. With a brand new flavor, you will not be disappointed.

Since having whiter teeth is always on your mind, you might consider these new foods for thought.


Looking for more tips on how to keep your teeth healthy and white? Check out The Secret to Healthy Teeth in your 20's, 30's, 40's and Beyond.


Safely and instantly whiten teeth