What Makes Teeth Yellow?

girl laying in grass smiling- what makes teeth yellow?

What Makes Teeth Yellow?

The color of your teeth can make a huge difference in how you feel about your smile. When you look in the mirror you’d probably rather not see that your smile looks yellow. Unfortunately, the color of your teeth can also a reflection of how healthy your teeth are. Because we know how important it is to you, at Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, we want you to feel confident about your smile when you look in the mirror. Having said that, let’s take a look at what makes teeth yellow—some of the causes, and what you can do about it.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Not brushing or flossing your teeth daily, or not using proper technique, can cause stained teeth and a buildup of plaque and tartar. Get in the habit of brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing at least once a day. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush with gentle circular strokes to clean both the inner and outer surfaces of your teeth. In addition, be sure to keep up with your biannual dental cleanings here at Hicks Dental Group. Our expert team will clean away any accumulated plaque and tartar, leaving your smile looking beautiful and feeling fresh.

Tobacco Products

It probably isn’t a surprise that smoking and chewing tobacco can leave unwanted stains on the teeth. The tar and nicotine that are in tobacco are responsible for causing these yellow stains. Quitting is the only way to prevent these stains from developing and/or growing. In addition to improving your dental health, quitting will help your overall health too.

Foods and Beverages

There’s a whole list of foods and drinks that can stick to the teeth and cause them to become more yellow. Common offenders include tomato sauce, curry, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, berries, coffee, tea, soda, and wine. You don’t have to give up these foods and beverages entirely. Swishing with water after consuming them and using a straw when possible will help prevent these foods from staining your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum after eating or drinking can also help neutralize the acids in the mouth that contribute to yellowing. A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that adding milk to tea reduces its chances of staining teeth, because the proteins in milk can bind to the tannin in tea.


Some antibiotics, antihistamines, and other drugs can stain or darken the teeth. Talk to your physician about possible side effects and see if there are alternative medications—however, don’t just stop taking them, as this could be harmful to your health.

The Good News

If you have further questions about what makes teeth yellow, or if you need advice on how to whiten your teeth, please let us know at your next appointment. The good news? At Hicks Dental Group in Prescott, we offer professional teeth whitening services, as well as other cosmetic dental services, to ensure sure your smile stays as healthy and beautiful as possible!


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay