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How to Whiten Yellow Teeth: 5 Top Tips

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Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

Food, beverages, some medications, and age can cause teeth discolouration over time. Teeth can become yellow or gray through surface stains or deep stains. Learn more about the causes of yellow teeth and easy things to help prevent and remove teeth stains.

Why Are My Teeth Yellow When I Brush Them Every Day?

Even if you keep a solid oral care routine, your teeth may become stained over time. Brushing your teeth and using an antiseptic mouthwash keeps your mouth clean and healthy. Still, some lifestyle factors and genetic factors can impact the shade of your teeth. For example, the following factors can make your teeth yellow or gray:

  • Acidic drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, and wine
  • Smoking cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Thin tooth enamel that shows the pale brown layer underneath called dentin.
  • Dry mouth
  • Some medications like antibiotics and supplements
  • Genetics
  • Aging

How to Get Rid of Yellow Teeth

Fortunately, there are things you can do to brighten your teeth. A good oral hygiene routine, avoiding stain-causing foods and drinks, and teeth whitening products can help remove surface stains and brighten your smile.

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Practicing good oral hygiene is essential for keeping your teeth white. Properly brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, cleaning between your teeth with floss or flossing alternatives, and using an antiseptic or whitening mouthwash is good practice for keeping your mouth healthy. Also, keeping your dental checkups and following care instructions from your dental hygienist can help prevent further stains and other dental issues.

2. Avoid Stain-Causing Foods

Good oral hygiene is essential, but you can also avoid new stains or deepening stains by avoiding foods and drinks with acids and colours known to stain teeth. Intensely pigmented foods like red wine, berries, and coffee should be a treat, but not something you consume throughout the day. You can remove particles from these foods and beverages by brushing your teeth shortly after consuming them.

3. Teeth Whitening Treatments and Products

If you want to know how to whiten yellow teeth, the most effective option is an in-office whitening treatment with your dentist. In-office whitening treatments have become very popular because you can see results in a single visit or a few visits. The effects last longer than any product you find on the shelves.

Your dentist may recommend an at-home whitening kit that includes a custom tray and whitening gel. The instructions may vary, but patients often wear one of these trays for a set time in the evenings over one or two weeks. Ensure you follow your dentist's aftercare instructions to maintain whitening results!

Whitening treatments with your dentist are typically more expensive than whitening products you can buy at the store. Still, there are several options you can try. Whitening strips, whitening mouthwashes, whitening toothpaste, and whitening pens have become widely available over-the-counter. These products have a lower concentration of the whitening compounds used by the dentist, so they tend not to be as effective. Still, they may achieve some whitening of the teeth.

4. Enamel Protection

Your smile may not be as bright as you want because of weak enamel. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth enamel is a hard substance. It cannot repair itself once it breaks down. Once oral disease affects the enamel, you can't restore it, and weak enamel can be more susceptible to decay and cavities. That's where enamel protection comes in handy. Fluoride found in most toothpaste can help strengthen tooth enamel against the wear and tear associated with acidic foods and beverages, meaning fewer stains on weak enamel.

5. Eat Calcium-Rich Foods

According to the ADA, eating foods high in calcium helps strengthen enamel. Healthy enamel means that the layer of dentin underneath doesn't show, causing your teeth to appear whiter in color. Dairy products and non-dairy calcium-rich foods provide your teeth with the minerals they need to keep enamel healthy.

When oral hygiene itself doesn't improve your teeth's appearance, it might be time to consider these other options. Talk to your dental professional about their recommendations for removing surface stains and maintaining a bright smile.