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Can Drinking Soda Stain My Teeth?

author image Rebekah Richards
Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.
Can Drinking Soda Stain My Teeth?
Drinking through a straw limits tooth discoloration. Photo Credit JGI/Blend Images/Getty Images

Drinking soda isn't good for your teeth because the sugar and acids in soda contribute to tooth decay. Dark-colored soda also leads to tooth stains. However, good dental care and tooth whitening may remove some stains caused by soda and other foods and drinks.


The dark compounds in dark-colored sodas cause surface staining on your teeth. Over time, your tooth enamel absorbs these compounds, causing brown or yellow discoloration. However, soda isn't the only drink that discolors your teeth; tea, coffee and red wine also contain dark compounds that can stain enamel. You may also experience tooth discoloration from smoking, certain medications, injury or age, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Clear sodas don't directly stain teeth.


Soda doesn't just stain your teeth; the acids in soft drinks may also cause tooth enamel to wear away with time, causing tooth erosion. Clear soda and diet soda also contain these acids, according to WomensHealth.gov. Tooth erosion may also make your teeth more susceptible to staining and discoloration. Sodas that contain sugar also damage your teeth by helping bacteria in your mouth produce more acids, increasing your risk of cavities and other problems.

Preventing Discoloration

If you can't give up dark-colored sodas entirely, you can still reduce discoloration by drinking through a straw, which helps prevent soda from making contact with the outside of your teeth. Drinking water after having a soda may also help prevent surface stains, according to Consumer Reports Health. In addition, avoid sipping soda; drink it with food, if possible, and drink water or brush your teeth afterward. Finally, take good care of your teeth, including brushing and flossing every day and regularly visiting your dentist for cleanings.

Tooth Whitening Options

If you're unhappy with discoloration or stains on your teeth, talk to your dentist about tooth whitening options. You can whiten your teeth through whitening treatments performed by your dentist or whitening strips or trays used at home. Whitening toothpaste also removes surface stains, but it won't change the color of discolored enamel. Don't use whitening toothpaste if you have sensitive teeth, because the harsh abrasives may cause tooth or gum pain. In addition, avoid soda and other staining foods and drinks while whitening your teeth, because your teeth are more vulnerable to discoloration during whitening.

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