SEP 17, 2017 02:00 PM PDT

The 6 Worst Foods For Your Pearly Whites

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Ever wondered why a pearly set of white teeth is associated with health and vitality? This is because the calcium in the enamel layer is naturally white. And a healthy and strong enamel layer is reflected in whiter teeth.

But as we all know, without care and maintenance, our teeth won't retain that same whiteness. In many cases, the foods we eat can stain or otherwise weaken the enamel layer so as to accelerate tooth discoloration.

One common culprit in tooth discoloration is coffee. This beloved drink contains tannins that can slowly strip teeth of its whiteness over time. Similarly, red wines can turn teeth into shades of gray. Foods high in acid content don't have to stain teeth directly to cause discoloration. The acid slowly wears away the white enamel layer to reveal the dentin layer, which is naturally yellow.

Teeth will discolor with age, no matter what you do. But if you limit exposure to these foods, you could help your pearlies retain their white for just a little bit longer.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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