Not Berry Good for Your Teeth: Why Berries Cause Tooth Staining

19 December 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Are you a regular eater of berries? If so, you are probably aware of their many health benefits. For instance, according to research, berries help to lower blood pressure. However, as healthy as berries are, they do have a downside—they stain your teeth.

If you enjoy berries on a regular basis, you may have noticed their effects on your teeth. Berries, especially the darker kinds such as blackberries and blueberries, can leave your teeth looking less-than-white. But why does this otherwise healthy fruit stain your teeth?

Chromogens Are to Blame

A chromogen is a compound found in many plants and fruits, and large numbers of them are present in berries like blueberries, blackberries, etc. Although these chromogens lack distinct colours, they are very potent, which is why they can be used to create dyes. Eating berries regularly bathes your teeth in these chromogens and leaves them stained.

If your teeth are stained because of berries, you need to find a way to enjoy berries without them staining your teeth.

Water and Berries

The strong pigments in dark berries cling to your teeth, staining them over time. To reduce the severity of staining caused by berries, ensure that you rinse your mouth out with water after eating them. This will wash away the staining particles before they can build up on your teeth.

Crunchy Veggies

Vegetables like carrots, lettuce and potatoes are excellent at scrubbing fresh stains off teeth. As you chew them, their rough texture rubs against your enamel, removing staining molecules in the process. Eat fibrous or crunchy vegetables during and after eating berries to minimise any staining.

Smoothies Stain

When you crush berries, or in fact anything, that contains staining compounds, you increase the risk of staining your teeth. You should bear this in mind when preparing smoothies. If you aren't willing to give up your morning smoothie, remember to drink water or to brush your teeth 20-30 minutes afterwards. This won't eradicate staining, but it will slow it down.

Teeth Whitening

Stained teeth ruin your appearance and give the wrong impression. If your teeth are stained due to your love of berries, you should consider whitening them. During the teeth whitening procedure, hydrogen peroxide breaks down staining molecules, removing them from your enamel. However, you should refrain from eating berries for the first 24 hours after a whitening procedure. Your teeth need time to recover and rehydrate.