I Brush Every Day So Why Are My Teeth Still Yellow?

Woman brushing her teeth

Are you self-conscious because your teeth are yellow, discolored, or not as white as you want them to be? Do you find yourself hiding your smile behind your hand or just not beaming as big as you used to? Even if you’re brushing your teeth regularly, this may not be enough to keep your teeth at their brightest so what can you do?

Yellow teeth happen for a variety of reasons. There are also two different types of staining that causes discoloration, and one is easier to deal with than the other:


Extrinsic Tooth Stains

This is staining or yellowing on the outside surface of your teeth and can be caused by things like tobacco products and certain types of food or drink. Extrinsic stains are easier to remove, either by improving your oral care routine, or by professional dental cleanings or whitening treatments.

Intrinsic Tooth Stains

This is yellowing or discoloration on the inside of the tooth and is more difficult to deal with. Intrinsic stains happen due to tooth decay, damage to the tooth, as a side effect of some medications or just because of genetics. If dental whitening treatments aren’t effective enough in reducing the yellowing of teeth with this type of stain, you can always try solutions like veneers which will provide a new, white tooth exterior.

What Makes Teeth Yellow?

There are a few main reasons someone may have yellow teeth. Luckily, many of these can be easily fixed.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene

    If you stick to a dentist recommended oral healthcare routine, you stand a much better chance of keeping your teeth from looking yellow. Brush at least twice a day and floss once daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy between check-ups. If you are already doing this, there are probably other reasons why your teeth are looking yellow.

  • Smoking or Tobacco

    Yellow teeth are just one negative effect of smoking or tobacco product use. Your teeth can turn yellow or even brown due to the nicotine and tar found in cigarettes and the staining is difficult to remove by brushing alone.

  • Eating or Drinking Certain Things

    Some food or drink can stain your teeth more easily than other types. In general, strongly or deeply colored things like red wine, coffee, tomato sauces, berries and some soft drinks are the most likely to discolor your tooth enamel and make it look yellow.

  • Some Medications

    If you’ve just started taking a new medication for asthma or high blood pressure, one side effect could be causing your teeth to look yellow. Certain antibiotics and antihistamine medications can also cause yellowing of your teeth. Check out the listed side effects on any medication to see if tooth discoloration is one of them, and speak to your doctor or dentist if you’re worried about it.

  • Genetics

    Sometimes the color of your teeth or the tendency for them to stain easily is just something that’s passed down through your family genetics and there’s not a whole lot you can do to reverse it.

Can Yellow Teeth Be Treated?

If you have yellow teeth, don’t worry, there’s a solution out there to suit everyone. Start and maintain a good oral healthcare routine and visit your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning. This removes light surface stains and your dentist will be able to give you more advice on how to keep your teeth white.

For more yellow teeth, or if you just want a brighter smile, try dental whitening or bleaching. This will lighten the enamel of your teeth by several shades in one appointment and generally lasts for around a year.

For severely discolored or yellow teeth, dental veneers may be a better, or more effective, option. These thin porcelain shells are applied to the outside surface of your teeth, giving a perfect look to your smile.

No matter how yellow your teeth are, your dentist can help bring back your smile!