Why are my teeth so yellow?

  • Posted on: Mar 13 2017

We hear it all the time from the New Yorkers who visit our clinic: “Why are my teeth so yellow?” Whether you want to be more confident during presentations at work, need to step up your Tinder game, or simply want you wake up in the morning and see a bright smile in the mirror, there are plenty of reasons to think about whitening your teeth. Of course, the easiest way is to prevent your teeth from getting discolored in the first place. Here are a few common reasons that teeth start to yellow.


As you get older, your teeth do, too. Unfortunately, one of the effects of aging is tooth discoloration. Although you can’t stop having birthdays, you can have an efficient tooth care routine to combat the effects of your age on your teeth.


Smoking is a no-no for many reasons. Often, long-term smokers have yellow teeth because of exposure to the chemicals in cigarettes and cigars. Stopping smoking can benefit you in several ways, including keeping enamel closer to its natural white. If you’re having trouble kicking the habit, consider giving yourself a reward after you have stopped for a set amount of time.

Coffee, tea, and other staining foods and drinks

You might be surprised at types of foods that can impact your smile. Avoid items that are high in sugar or acid as these can prove to be a problem with time. Liquids are also sneaky culprits. Beverages like coffee, tea, dark soda and wine (even white!) can stain your teeth after extended exposure. Don’t worry, you don’t have to cut these drinks out of your diet completely. Instead, you can reduce a little and rinse and brush after enjoying them. Even sipping from a straw or drinking water between sips can prove helpful.

You’ve had braces

No matter how hard you try, it’s not always easy to prevent discoloration that comes with wearing braces, especially if you have them for more than a year. Having braces makes maintenance more challenging, and teeth covered by wires will have uneven exposure to discoloring foods. When your braces are first removed, this might mean uneven coloring.

Lack of care

Keeping up with flossing, brushing, and checkups can positively impact your dental color (and your mouth health in general). Work with your dentist to develop an at-home cleaning routine that targets plaque, cavities, and tooth color — then stick with it! Visiting the dental office twice a year for exams is also going to help you maintain a bright smile. We can discuss your options for at-home or in-office professional whitening treatments.

Yellow teeth can be a bummer, but they don’t have to be a reality. By dropping bad habits and picking up good ones, you can fend off tooth yellowing for a long time. Have questions? Call or set up an appointment where we can further discuss these details.

Posted in: Teeth Whitening