What to avoid for a whiter smile: Compounds called chromogens give certain foods and drinks their strong color, and which can contribute to teeth staining. Foods and drinks containing a substance called tannin can also make your teeth much more susceptible to staining. High acidity foods can also contribute to enamel erosion, increasing the chances of stains setting in. This enamel erosion can also reveal the yellower dentin that lies beneath our whiter enamel. In general, if something could stain your clothes or your tongue, the chances are it’s also going to stain your teeth. Some of the biggest smile saboteurs are black coffee, tea – especially green tea, turmeric, balsamic vinegar, red wine.