No one wants them, but a lot of us have them!
Sometimes it’s simply age or genetics that give our teeth a yellow hue.
Other times, it’s our lifestyle choices, like what we eat and drink.
If you want to add extra sparkle to your smile, keep reading about yellow teeth: top foods to avoid (or at least cut way back on).
Top Foods (And Drinks) That Can Give You Yellow Teeth
Aha moment for the day: your teeth are porous (kind of like a sponge). That means they can absorb the color of the foods and drinks you consume.
Here’s a handy rule: If it can stain your shirt, it can stain your teeth!
Check out the top offenders when it comes to teeth stains:
- Coffee & tea – these tannin-rich beverages are the most notorious when it comes to teeth stains. The darker the color of the coffee or tea, the more it can stain your teeth.
- Soy sauce – our favorite Chinese cuisine condiment is super concentrated and can easily stain the teeth if consumed on a regular basis.
- Balsamic vinegar – the acid in balsamic vinegar will make it cling to the teeth, putting our pearly whites at risk for stains.
- Tomato & curry sauces – if you eat these tasty sauces on a regular basis, protect your teeth by doing a leafy green salad as a “starter” – it will help create a film on the teeth to shield them from staining.
- Sports drinks – we like to think of sports drinks as “healthy,” but they’re actually pretty bad for our teeth because of all the acid in them. Acid can strip away the enamel, making the teeth more yellow in appearance.
- Fruit juices (think grape and cranberry) – Dark pigments + high acid content = teeth stains.
- Red wine – the culprit behind wine stains are chromogens, pigment-producing substances that cling to the enamel. Tannins in wine help chromogens bind to the teeth.
- Cola – we all know soda isn’t good for us anyway, but (gulp) it’s particularly bad for our teeth, especially cola. You have the trifecta of teeth staining in these carbonated confections: sugar, acid and dark color. If you’re not ready to quit, try using a straw to protect your enamel.
- Dark berries – Super fruits like blueberries, blackberries and cherries are loaded with antioxidants – unfortunately, they’re also loaded with pigments that stain the teeth.
- Beets – if you’ve ever sliced and diced a batch of beets, you know how badly it stains everything it touches.
Reality check. Like we’re going to give up our precious coffee.
While we may cut back on these teeth-staining foods and drinks, chances are, we’re still going to have them once in a while … especially our cup(s) of coffee and those health-enhancing berries.
So what can you do to minimize the staining impact on your teeth?
Here’s what to do: swish with water really well after indulging. Also, while it may seem counterintuitive, wait 30–40 minutes to brush your teeth so that your teeth aren’t under an acid attack during brushing. Playing the waiting game will help protect your enamel and tooth color.
P.S. If you’re worried about coffee breath while you wait to brush, simply scrape your tongue with a spoon or Tongue Scraper tool to remove bad breath molecules. (The tongue is where up to 90 percent of bad breath molecules originate.)
5 Additional Ways to Turn the Tables on Tooth Discoloration
Besides cutting back on the top teeth-staining foods and drinks, here are 5 easy ways to turn the tables on tooth discoloration and rock a whiter, brighter smile.
#1. Brush gently.
Brushing like it’s a test of strength is super bad for the health of your teeth … and the color of your teeth. Vigorous brushing strips away the enamel, exposing more of the dentin – that’s what’s under your enamel, and it’s yellowish in color. Instead, gently massage each tooth 8 times with a circular motion. Use an extra-soft-bristled toothbrush too. Remember – gentle is the key word here!
#2. Get professional teeth whitening.
Rather than taking matters into your own hands and whitening your teeth at home, consider getting your teeth professionally whitened. This can turn your teeth 3–8 shades lighter versus home whitening kits AND the results will last longer. Want more info? Check out Teeth Whitening Strips: Pros & Cons.
#3. Eat more veggies.
Veggies (minus beets – sorry, not sorry) are a natural way to keep those pearly whites nice and bright. Veggies produce more saliva to keep plaque at bay, and fibrous veggies like the totally underrated celery act as a natural toothbrush, cleaning between the teeth and helping to remove surface stains.
#4. Kick that nicotine habit.
Did you know that only 5–7 percent of people who try to quit smoking on their own actually do so? Talk to your doctor and see what game plan can help you kick the habit for good. Learn more about ways to quit smoking.
#5. Keep those regular dentist appointments.
OK, yes, we all know this by now, but shockingly, according to a dental study in Frontiers in Public Health, up to 43 percent of Americans aren’t getting proper preventative care for their smiles. There’s no time like the present to change your ways and get in for an appointment. If you know you procrastinate getting in the dentist chair, make your next appointment before you even leave the office.
Yikes. Is it Possible Your Toothpaste Is Contributing to Yellow Teeth?
Of course, every toothpaste package is going to promise you a sparkling, white smile. But the reality is that many of these toothpastes are highly abrasive. That means they have TOO MUCH scrubbing power.
Remember how teeth like to be treated gently? Too much “oomph” and “scrub” breaks down the enamel, exposing more of the yellowish dentin underneath. If you often have tooth sensitivity, this is a sign you’re wearing down your enamel and need a “change of paste.”
What dentists recommend: Oxyfresh Pro Formula Toothpaste. This ultra-gentle toothpaste has one of the LOWEST ABRASION RATINGS on the market … it’s 2x as gentleas the average store-brand toothpaste.
Plus, there’s no icky artificial mint flavors or dyes. Instead, we use soothing, natural mint leaf oil.
Oxyfresh Pro Formula Toothpaste is dentist-recommended and absolutely perfect for everyone, especially if you have sensitive teeth, veneers or concerns about tooth discoloration.
Pair with our Pro Formula Mouthwash for instant, all-day fresh breath without the burn of alcohol.
Your smile is one of your best features. Start protecting it with Oxyfresh.