For our patients in the Memphis area who want to keep their teeth white and bright, there are some foods and beverages that they may want to be aware of. Tooth enamel, the hard white outer layer of our teeth, which gives them their white color, can be stained by certain foods.

A general rule of thumb to consider is this: If it would stain your carpet, it will probably stain your teeth.

Teeth have microscopic ridges on the that can catch residue from beverages with dark pigmentation, such as coffee, tea and cola, leading to discoloration. In addition, cola is also highly acidic, and can break down the white enamel of your teeth.

Processed foods that use food coloring, including fruit juices, popsicles and tomato sauce, have a tendency to stain as well.

The best way to keep your teeth bright and remove discoloration is to maintain a good brushing and flossing routine. For persistent stains or discoloration, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening options.