Whether enjoyed by the handful or in a freshly baked pie, berries are high in disease-fighting antioxidants and rich in flavonoids, the nutrients that give them their rich colors and help to protect against heart disease, inflammation, and cancer. Along with all the good stuff, berries also contain chromogens, intensely pigmented compounds that stick to the teeth enamel, which can cause staining. “Berries are super healthy,” says New York-based Victoria Veytsman, DDS, “so don’t stop eating them.” She suggests rinsing your mouth with water right after eating them or brushing your teeth 30 minutes after eating to reduce the staining effect. Watch out for these other “healthy” habits that damage your teeth.
After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world and in 2016 Americans drank 84 billion servings of the beverage, opting for iced tea 80 percent of the time. Tea has many health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer to helping with weight loss and slowing age-related memory decline. Tea also contains tannins, plant-based compounds that make it easier for stains to stick to teeth. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up your favorite summertime beverage altogether. To reduce the chance of staining, Mazen Natour, DMD, a New York-based prosthodontist, suggests using a straw. “Using a straw will shoot the tea through your mouth without having it hit your teeth,” he says. Make sure you know the easiest way to clean your teeth without brushing them.