Cleaning and whitening teeth concept vector illustration. Snow-white Happy Tooth and Yellow Moody Tooth Cartoon characters in flat design. Tooth before and after whitening infographic elements

What causes yellow teeth and how can you make them whiter?

Although yellow teeth aren’t necessarily bad for your health or a sign of a problem, they can make you feel uncomfortable about your smile or showing your teeth. However, there may be some steps you can take to determine the cause and do something about it.

Why are my teeth yellow?

There are a number of things that could cause yellowed teeth, from the foods you eat to habits like smoking. It can also simply be down to your genetics.

The cause of yellow teeth could be down to the choices you’re making. Eating foods that cling to the surface of your teeth, such as tomatoes and berries, may stain the enamel, and so can tea, coffee and red wine. If you’re really worried about your stained teeth, you could try cutting these foods out to see if it makes a difference.

Another cause could be lack of enamel. Underneath this white shiny material is another substance called dentin, which is naturally yellow. As your enamel wears down, dentin can begin to show through. It’s unlikely that there will be a remedy for this – once enamel has worn down, it cannot be replaced.[1]

Why are my teeth yellow when I brush them everyday?

Occasionally, yellow teeth can actually be caused by over brushing. While this isn’t always the case and the colour could simply be in your genes, it could be that you’re using too much fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that is good for teeth in small doses, but excess fluoride can cause a condition called dental fluorosis. Ensure that you’re not over brushing or using too much toothpaste too frequently. Dental fluorosis can be common in children.[2]

Is it natural to have yellow teeth?

Yellow teeth can be completely normal for some people. Take a look at your parents’ teeth to see what colour they are. There are five natural shades your teeth can be: white, grey, reddish grey, reddish brown and reddish yellow. If your parents have grey or reddish teeth, then it’s likely that yours will be the same. Unfortunately, there generally isn’t anything that can be done about this, but it also isn’t anything to worry about.

How to get rid of yellow teeth naturally

If you’re concerned about the look of your yellow teeth, there are some things you could try to whiten them naturally. While it may seem simple, the first thing you can do is look after your teeth. You should brush them often and floss regularly using roll floss or dental floss picks.[3]

There are other techniques you can use too. Apple cider vinegar has lots of health benefits. It can help to kill harmful bacteria in your body, may help to lower blood sugar levels for diabetics and can boost skin health. It can also be used to whiten your teeth. Make a mouthwash using two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and around 150ml of water. Rinse the solution around your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out. Only do this around a couple of times a week as excessive use could wear your enamel down further.[4]

As previously mentioned, you should avoid foods and drinks that may stain your teeth. Instead, you could try eating fruits and vegetables that have a high water content, such as cucumber, spinach, broccoli and apples. These are thought to clean your teeth and promote the production of saliva, which helps to clean your teeth further.[5] If you smoke, you should aim to stop as it stains your enamel. This damage isn’t permanent and should disappear if you quit the habit and brush your teeth regularly.[1]





[4] Zheng, Li-wei et al. Sichuan da xue xue bao. Yi xue ban = Journal of Sichuan University. Medical science edition vol. 45,6 (2014): 933-6, 945. Available at: 


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