8 Habits Turning Your Teeth Yellow

Are your teeth no longer white and bright? Have you noticed that they are looking dingy and/or yellow, perhaps even a bit gray? You may think that discolored teeth are a natural part of aging, but you’d be wrong: teeth turn dingy and yellow because of habits you have, habits you can change so that your teeth stay white, without having to resort to in-home or professional whitening treatments.

Read below for eight habits you may have that are turning your teeth yellow.

  1. The biggest culprit is your habit of drinking coffee or tea, These beverages contain a substance known as tannin, which promotes teeth staining. If you love tea, try drinking green tea; it doesn’t stain teeth as much.


Doughnuts and coffee: truly tasty but nasty when it comes to their teeth-staining capabilities.

  1. Another major cause of stained teeth is that cola drink you love so much.
  2. Do you enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner? Wine – especially the darker varietals – contain chromogens as well as tannins. Even white wine can promote staining! In fact, if you drink tea and wine, you’re doubling up on the stain-creating factor: a study at the New York University School of Dentistry found that the teeth of wine drinkers who then drank tea were more severely stained.
  3. Dark colas and even clear sodas can stain your teeth. They also contain a lot of phosphoric acid that can erode your tooth’s enamel. If you must drink your cola, use a straw: it helps to move the liquid to the back of your mouth and away from your teeth.
  4. Candy, especially hard candy, can contribute to yellow and stained teeth. The candy’s sugar turns to acid, eventually eroding your enamel, in addition to contributing to stained teeth. Hard candy is the worst, because the sugar tends to stay on your teeth longer as you suck on the candy. This is just one more reason why it’s best to drink a glass of water after eating candy as well as brushing your teeth as soon as you can to remove the sugar particles.
  5. While it’s wise to stay away from candy and sugary sodas as a matter of course, even good-for-you foods can contribute to stained teeth. Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, etc. can stain your teeth. Even pies and pastries filled with these delightful foods also can help you turn your teeth yellow.
  6. Even soy sauce and your favorite spaghetti sauce can stain your teeth.
  7. Smoking and chewing tobacco also are huge contributors to stained and yellow teeth. Have you ever known a long-time smoker who didn’t have discolored teeth?

To keep your teeth as white as possible throughout your life, here are a few habits you should pick up:

  • As mentioned above, swish your mouth with water after drinking colas, coffee/tea, wine, and eating sugar-laden foods.
  • Drink cola with a straw. If you’re at home, consider sipping your wine with a straw.
  • Don’t hold the wine, coffee, cola, or hard candy in your mouth. The sooner the substance is away from your teeth, the better. So swallow as quickly as is safe.
  • Quite smoking.
  • Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day and visit your dentist for professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year.

If you’re tired of dingy, yellow teeth and want to learn more about our professional tooth whitening services, contact Dr. Darren Dickson by phone.

Image courtesy of Iamnee/

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