Teeth Staining Foods Quiz

By: Jill Jaracz

Teeth Staining Foods Quiz
Image: TongRo Images/Getty Images

About This Quiz

A bright, white smile is all the rage, but many foods and beverages you consume may stain your teeth. Do you know what to avoid to keep your teeth untarnished?
Tea is worse than coffee for your tooth enamel.
FACT
Coffee and tea have some similar staining qualities, but tea is also full of tannins which seep into your porous tooth enamel and compound the problem.
FiCTION

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Chromogens are substances in food and beverages that make your teeth whiter.
FACT
FICTION
Chromogens are molecules with extreme pigmentation that can actually stain your teeth.

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Carefully chewing your food will break down any pigments it contains, which in turn prevents teeth staining.
FACT
FICTION
While you should chew your food completely, keeping highly pigmented food around your teeth for a long period of time will contribute to staining.

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Brushing your teeth with baking soda won't do anything to whiten your teeth.
FACT
FICTION
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to create a paste. Brush with it like toothpaste, and this home remedy could help whiten your smile.

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If a particular type of food stains your clothes, it'll probably stain your teeth.
FACT
It's a good rule of thumb to think this way. Dark sauces like soy sauce and balsamic vinegar are highly pigmented and can both stain your clothes and seep through your enamel to stain your teeth.
FICTION

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Highly acidic food and beverages can contribute to teeth staining.
FACT
Acid in foods and drinks can erode enamel and make it easier for stains to penetrate teeth. Carbonated colas are particularly tough on white teeth, so watch how many you drink.
FICTION

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Sipping beverages through a straw can help prevent teeth stains.
FACT
Using a straw will keep stain-inducing beverages away from your teeth -- especially the front ones that everybody notices.
FICTION

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If you want to fix the stains on your teeth, your only option is to get them professionally whitened.
FACT
FICTION
Professional whitening is only one way to correct stains on your teeth. There are also many at-home products you can use to make your teeth whiter.

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Cherries, blueberries and blackberries can give you an unsightly smile.
FACT
The deep pigments these popular fruits contain can leech onto your teeth.
FICTION

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Tannins, found in grapes and wine, contribute to tooth stains.
FACT
Tannins are food compounds that help chromogens attach to tooth enamel, which contributes to staining.
FICTION

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Brushing your teeth right after eating stain-inducing foods will decrease the potential of them permanently affecting your teeth.
FACT
Brushing right away will remove many of the elements that get into your enamel and cause staining.
FICTION

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Teeth-whitening kits are no match for coffee-stained teeth.
FACT
FICTION
A teeth-whitening kit can actually help address tough coffee marks by bleaching stains both on and below the surface of the tooth.

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Whitening toothpaste is just a marketing gimmick.
FACT
FICTION
Specialized toothpastes may, in fact, improve the look of your smile due to ingredients like baking soda or peroxide that are geared to whiten teeth.

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White wine promotes a whiter smile.
FACT
FICTION
Although white wine doesn't contain the same tannins as red wine, it's still acidic, which allows other foods to stain your teeth more easily.

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Brightly colored foods are likely to stain your teeth.
FACT
Artificial colors and even naturally pigmented foods contain molecules that can easily adhere to your enamel.
FICTION

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If you can't brush your teeth right after eating or drinking, rinsing your mouth out with water will help inhibit foods' ability to stain your teeth.
FACT
Rinsing your mouth out can remove food particles that might otherwise stick to and stain your teeth.
FICTION

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Tooth enamel is what makes your teeth look white in the first place.
FACT
FICTION
Tooth enamel is actually a semi-translucent protective shell on your tooth. The dentin underneath the enamel is the white part of your tooth.

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Treating your teeth with whitening strips could give you better looking teeth for up to a year.
FACT
Whitening strips use a peroxide-based whitening gel to banish teeth stains. Use them as directed, and they could brighten your smile for a long time.
FICTION

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Eating certain foods can prevent stains from latching onto your teeth.
FACT
Certain vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach and broccoli, can add a protective film to your teeth that will fight against other stain-causing foods you might eat.
FICTION

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Sports drinks promote whiter teeth.
FACT
FICTION
With their bright colors and high acid content, sports drinks may cause more staining on your teeth.

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