Lesser-known threats to the pearly whiteness of your dazzling smile

As Alisa Hrustic points out on womenshealthmag.com, most of us know that coffee, red wine and soy sauce are among the consumables that, over time, can make your teeth less than sparkling white. But she asks cosmetic dentists Nancy Rosen of New York and Karoush Maddahi of Beverly Hills about other “sneaky teeth-stainers.”

As Alisa Hrustic points out on womenshealthmag.com, most of us know that coffee, red wine and soy sauce are among the consumables that, over time, can make your teeth less than sparkling white. But she asks cosmetic dentists Nancy Rosen of New York and Karoush Maddahi of Beverly Hills about other “sneaky teeth-stainers.” Some of their answers:

Lemonade: The acidity can erode tooth enamel, revealing the next layer, the dentin, which has a yellow color.

White wine: It can be trouble when combined with certain foods—say a glass of sauvignon blanc followed by pasta with tomato sauce. “It’s almost like opening up the pores of the teeth for the stain to actually be sucked in,” says Rosen.

Green juice and smoothies: “Anything that really stains your clothes, that’s really difficult to get out, stains your teeth as well,” says Maddahi. Those super-nutritious smoothies are often packed with bright berries and vegetables that have teeth-tainting qualities. Suggestion: Drink through a straw.

Pools: Speaking of things that are both good and bad for you, the pool you’re swimming laps in can actually stain your teeth. “A lot of times you keep your mouth open or let water into the mouth, and those chemicals that treat the pool can actually cause a brown stain in the mouth,” says Rosen. You have to spend at least six hours on pool time a week for this to happen, but that’s not hard to do in the summer.

One general piece of anti-staining advice is to brush after eating. But Maddahi warns you should not brush until 30 minutes after eating if your food was acidic: Brushing too soon actually accelerates any acidic erosion.

—Nancy Szokan | The Washington Post