Four Surprising Things That Discolor Your Teeth—and Four More That Whiten Them

Is your smile reminiscent of corn kernels? If your grin is somewhat ghoulish, there’s help for you yet. Here are four reasons your teeth are discolored, along with four foods that will whiten them naturally:

Four Ugly Smile Killers

If you can’t brighten your chompers no matter how much you brush, it may be the result of something you’re eating or drinking. Here are four things you do to your teeth that make your dentist sad:

  1. Drinking white wine- You probably know that drinking colored sodas and red wine aren’t good for your teeth, but a recent study has found that white wine can be just as harmful as red. That’s because the acids and tannins in it can roughen the surface of the teeth, which can lead to porous enamel that absorbs the color of other foods.
  2. Taking cough syrup- If you have a sniffle you want to stifle, you may be tempted to reach for the cough syrup. However, many syrups have alcohol in them which can dry the mouth out; less saliva, meaning of course, more cavities. If you must take cough syrup, try to brush your teeth immediately afterward.
  3. Swilling down sports drinks- Sports drinks can be very acidic, which can lead to tooth enamel softening. This makes staining a real possibility. Fortunately, studies have shown that most of us don’t need to drink sports drinks. Good old fashioned water is usually the best way to rehydrate your body after a workout.
  4. Swimming too much- Swimming pools aren’t just hard on your hair; they can play havoc on your mouth too. Individuals who swim for more than six hours a week in a chemically-treated pool are at risk for developing “swimmer’s calculus,” a fancy name for brown stains on the teeth that are less than attractive.

Four Foods That Brighten and Whiten

You don’t have to resort to creams, bleaches and special toothpastes. A healthy diet, along with regular brushing, will go a long way toward a perfect pucker. Here are four foods that actually improve your oral hygiene:

A girl smiling.

  1. Broccoli- Is there anything broccoli can’t do? Not only is it filled with antioxidants, it also guards your teeth by building an acid-resistant film on them that keeps enamel safe.
  2. Apple cider vinegar- This favorite of old wives everywhere can whiten your teeth when swished in your mouth.
  3. Sesame seeds- These crunchy little treats are tiny little tooth brushes that can reduce plaque while you chew. Don’t like the shells? No problem; nuts and almonds have the same effect.
  4. Oranges and pineapples- These tart fruits boost the production of saliva. You can also use an orange to remove tartar. Just rub the white side across your teeth for a quick cleaning.

Did you know that good dental hygiene is connected to lower rates of heart disease? For other health facts, contact your chiropractic team. They’ve got a wealth of knowledge and are happy to share their insight with you.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Photo credit: Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Brent Gambrell

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.