Quiz: What Causes Dental Stains?

Most of us suffer from dental discoloration to some degree, but few of us know exactly what causes dental stains. We know it has something to do with food, but since we brush our teeth, we don’t understand why we have this embarrassing discoloration. Although brushing and flossing is certainly vital, even those with outstanding daily hygiene can suffer from tooth stains. Fortunately, your Fort Worth area dentist offers effective teeth whitening treatment to significantly lighten your smile. Nevertheless, knowing what causes dental stains can help you maintain the results of your treatment and prevent stains from returning.

Tooth Discoloration Quiz

  1. True or False: Red wine will cause dental stains, but white wine won’t.
  2. True or False: Green tea causes dental stains.
  3. How soon should you brush your teeth after eating?
    A. Immediately
    B. 30 minutes afterwards
    C. An hour afterwards
  4. Which of the following is more likely to cause dental stains?
    A. Apple juice
    B. Milk
    C. Orange juice
  5. Which of the following medications can cause dental stains?
    A. Tylenol
    B. Benadryl
    C. Nyquil

Do You Know What Causes Dental Stains?

  1. False. Red wine is one of the most notorious causes of dental stains, and it contains dark colored chromogens that can adhere to your enamel. However, dark pigmentation is not the only cause of stains. Acids will also erode your dental enamel. The underlying layer of your tooth, or dentin, is naturally off-white. It is also more porous, so darkly pigmented molecules can adhere to it more easily.
  2. True. Green tea can cause mild discoloration. However green tea and other herbal teas are far less likely to cause stains than black tea. Therefore, if you are an avid tea lover, green tea is probably the wisest choice.
  3. B. If you brush immediately after eating, you will only rub acid and bits of food into your enamel. Instead, you should rinse with water and brush about half an hour later. On the other hand, if you wait too long to brush, sugars and acids will start to erode your enamel.
  4. C. Apple juice and milk both contain high levels of sugar, and therefore they can lead to dental decay. They can be especially detrimental to children, who often drink these beverages and go straight to bed without brushing their teeth. Milk also contains calcium, which will strengthen enamel and help to prevent decay. Orange juice, on the other hand, contains both sugar and a high level of acidity, making it especially harmful to white, sparkling teeth. Both adults and kids should enjoy orange juice in moderation.
  5. B. Benadryl can sometimes cause dental stains. However, tetracycline and doxycycline are the medications that most commonly cause discoloration. Although they will not harm adults’ teeth, when children ingest these medications under the age of 8, their permanent teeth can come in with dark


With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-918-3038.