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Top Tips on How to Remove Yellow Stains From Teeth

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

How can I remove yellow stains on my teeth? It's a common query for which many of us seek solutions. When you browse online, the multiple choices to address yellow teeth can be overwhelming.

Understanding the reasons behind why teeth become yellow or teeth discoloration is vital for addressing and preventing it. In this article, we will delve into causes of yellowness or stains, how to remove yellow stains from teeth and explore various whitening solutions, offering you a comprehensive guide to maintaining a bright smile throughout your life.

What Causes Yellowing of Teeth?

The transformation in your teeth's colour can be quite subtle and often occurs gradually. Even if you practise a good oral care routine, your teeth may become stained over time. As we age, these changes become more noticeable. One contributing factor of yellow teeth is the build up of stains . 

Brushing your teeth with a teeth whitening toothpaste keeps your mouth clean and white. Still, some lifestyle and genetic factors can impact the shade of your teeth. For example, the following factors can make your teeth yellow or grey:

  • Consumption of acidic or pigmented beverages such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, and red wine

  • Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products

  • Thinning of tooth enamel, which exposes the pale brown layer underneath (known as dentine)

  • Neglecting oral hygiene and proper dental care

  • Dry mouth

  • Certain medications, including antibiotics and supplements

  • Genetic predisposition

  • Ageing

Teeth Whitening Products to Whiten Teeth

One of the convenient solutions to help remove yellowness or stains from your teeth is to use specialized teeth whitening products. Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouthwashes, whitening strips, and at-home whitening pens or whitening kits have become more widely available over-the-counter. These teeth whitening products are generally safe to use at home, and gradually help to remove yellow stains on teeth, making them whiter.

  • Whitening toothpastes: Regular toothpastes may be ineffective at removing stains from your teeth. Specialized whitening toothpastes typically have active ingredients that can reduce yellowness and whiten teeth. Some ingredients are effective at removing extrinsic, surface-level stains, while others may help further with intrinsic, deeper stains within the enamel. These toothpastes are made to gently remove extrinsic and/or intrinsic stains and help you achieve a brighter smile with regular use. 

  • Using the right toothbrush: It's important to choose a soft-bristled brush that helps remove surface stains and plaque effectively without damaging tooth enamel.

  • Mouthwashes: Whitening mouthwashes contain ingredients that help reduce surface stains in addition to providing fresher breath, promoting a brighter smile over time.

  • Whitening strips: These thin and flexible strips are coated with a whitening gel that sticks to the surface of the teeth, providing an affordable and effective whitening option.

  • At-home whitening pens: At-home whitening pens are convenient and easy to use. They typically have a whitening agent in a gel format that allows for targeted application to specific areas of the teeth.

  • At-home whitening kits: Whitening kits are customisable and typically include whitening trays and gel for convenient whitening at home.

Home Remedies to Remove Yellow Stains

In addition to teeth whitening products, there are also some commonly shared home remedies: 

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household product that neutralizes odors and clean surfaces, from kitchen counters to carpets. Baking soda is now found in many toothpaste brands and teeth-whitening solutions. Its popularity stems from its ability to effectively remove surface stains from teeth, offering a simple solution for those looking to brighten their smile at home. 

But the question arises: Is baking soda truly effective in whitening teeth? The answer lies in its abrasive properties, which can scrub away stains caused by tea, coffee, and other staining agents. A 2012 study found that using toothpaste with baking soda can whiten teeth and remove stains effectively. 

However, this comes with a word of caution. While baking soda can contribute to a whiter smile by removing surface stains, excessive use can be detrimental to the enamel, the tooth's protective outer layer and may irritate the gums. This remedy is not recommended for sensitive teeth or prolonged use, highlighting that it may not be as useful as perceived for lasting teeth whitening.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another ingredient commonly used for whitening. It is renowned for its ability to absorb chemicals, yet it remains uncertain whether it removes stains from the enamel of teeth or merely acts as a surface scrub. The efficacy of charcoal for teeth whitening is still under debate. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, further research is necessary to fully understand its effects.

Coconut Oil Pulling

Some consider coconut oil pulling to remove yellow stains on teeth by eliminating plaque and bacteria contributing to teeth whitening. While there are no long term studies specifically on oil pulling for teeth whitening, research conducted in 2015 shows it can reduce plaque-induced gingivitis. However, oil pulling may not be as useful as a teeth whitening strategy for everyone..

Apple Cider Vinegar

Some use diluted apple cider vinegar to remove tooth surface stains. However, evidence of its safety and effectiveness is lacking. The acid poses risks like increasing tooth sensitivity with repeated use. It's not advised to try this home method without medical oversight. 

Fruit Peel

Another common belief involves using lemon, banana, or orange peels for teeth whitening - often considered a home remedy for yellow teeth. However, it is essential to recognize that there is no scientific study backing this, and the evidence is purely anecdotal. The acidity in these peels can be harsh on your teeth and enamel and may cause more harm. Hence, it may not be as useful as perceived for achieving whiter teeth.

Avoid Stain-Causing Foods

In general, you can also  avoid foods and drinks with acids and colours known to stain teeth. Intensely pigmented foods like red wine, tea, and coffee can be consumed sparingly.  Brushing after consuming these kinds of food and drinks can also help remove particles from your teeth.

Professional Dental Teeth Whitening Services

In addition to teeth whitening products or home remedies, professional whitening treatments offer a highly effective route to achieving a brighter smile. These in-clinic procedures have gained significant popularity for their ability to deliver noticeable results quickly—often within a single session or just a few visits to the dentist. Unlike over-the-counter whitening products, which may provide modest improvements over extended use, professional treatments are designed to tackle deep-set stains and discoloration, transforming yellowed teeth into a vibrant, white smile in a shorter period of time.

The appeal of professional whitening treatments lies in their use of higher concentrations of bleaching agents, which are applied with precision and expertise by dental professionals. This ensures not only the effectiveness of the treatment but also the safety and health of your teeth and gums. With proper care, including maintaining good oral hygiene practices and avoiding foods and beverages known to cause staining, the effects of professional whitening can last much longer than those achieved with over-the-counter options. Dentists often recommend using products like teeth whitening toothpaste to further maintain this whitening.

Moreover, during a professional whitening session, the dentist can customise the treatment to fit your specific needs and goals, taking into account factors like the extent of staining and your teeth's sensitivity. This personalised approach ensures you receive the most effective treatment possible, tailored to give you the best results while minimising any potential discomfort or side effects.

How To Maintain White Teeth

Once you have removed yellow stains from your teeth, there are steps you can take to help maintain the whiteness achieved:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a specialized whitening toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush

  • Floss once a day to clear away plaque and debris between teeth

  • Limit intake of foods and drinks known to discolour teeth, like tea, coffee, wine, and fizzy drinks. Brush shortly after consuming these pigmented food to help remove staining particulars from your teeth

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my teeth yellow even though I brush every day?

When plaque and tartar build-up, they can form yellow stains on the surface of teeth. If you clean your teeth regularly but still have yellow teeth, it could be due to brushing with a toothpaste that doesn’t have the ability to whiten teeth or using the wrong toothbrush. If you’re noticing yellowness, a good first step would be to switch to whitening toothpaste and the right toothbrush. Brushing twice a day will also help you achieve the best results.

Does brushing two times a day whiten teeth?

Brushing twice a day is essential for preventing cavities and tooth decay. But brushing twice a day with whitening toothpastes and the right toothbrush will help with whitening your teeth.

What is the natural colour of teeth?

Healthy teeth should exhibit a natural white or slightly off-white shade with smooth and undamaged enamel. Nevertheless, the specific colour of strong teeth may vary based on individual dental health factors.

How to clean yellow teeth?

To clean your teeth, brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to remove plaque and surface stains. Additionally, using a whitening toothpaste designed to eliminate stains will help you get whiter teeth.