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What are the top causes of yellow teeth?

It’s a great question! There are more causes of tooth discoloration than you might think — but there are also plenty of ways you can protect your smile. 

Poor oral hygiene

Plaque and bacteria will cause yellow teeth if they are not regularly removed with a good daily oral health routine. This means brushing for two minutes twice per day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily.

Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if it begins to look frayed.

Certain foods and drinks

Items with a deep color like tomato sauce, berries, curry spices, coffee, tea, dark sodas and beers, and red wine can cause unwanted stains. To help keep your teeth from staining:

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    Wash these items down with water after you consume them.

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    Enjoy them with crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery to stimulate saliva production.

Tobacco use

In addition to raising your risk for many serious oral and overall health problems, the nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in tobacco products can yellow your teeth very quickly.

Some medications

Blood pressure medication, antihistamines for treating allergies, and certain other drugs can be a source of discolored teeth. If you’re concerned a medication is yellowing your teeth, speak with your dentist or physician to discuss options.

Trauma or teeth grinding

Accidents, sports injuries, and teeth grinding can lead to cracks in your tooth enamel, exposing the yellower dentin underneath.

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    To protect your teeth and gums from injury, wear a mouth guard and other appropriate safety gear when you play sports or physical games.

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    To reduce teeth grinding, you can try limiting caffeine, practicing relaxation techniques like meditation, or speaking with your dentist about a night guard.

Genetics and aging

There’s not much you can do about your genetics, but some people do naturally have thicker or whiter tooth enamel due to DNA.

As you age, the yellow layer of dentin under your enamel thickens. This can make your teeth appear more yellow. While you can't prevent age-related discoloration and erosion, you can slow it down by using a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoiding carbonated or acidic beverages.

Daily oral health for the win!

If daily oral health habits along with other best practices don’t seem to be helping with your discoloration, it’s recommended that you consult your dentist. They can determine the cause of the problem and answer any questions about tooth whitening options.

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