Why Are My Teeth Yellow Despite Good Dental Hygiene?

yellow teethMany of us work to maintain a bright, white smile. Despite our greatest efforts, teeth sometimes begin to yellow. Brushing, flossing, and having regular cleanings should be enough to maintain white teeth. For some of us, however, “pearly whites” require a bit more effort.

Food and Tobacco

Yellowing and discolouration can occur for many reasons. The most common contributors to yellow teeth include regular consumption of coffee, tea, or wine. Regular tobacco use will also yellow teeth.

Coffee, tea, and wine are all high in “chromogens” that stick to and stain teeth. Nicotine becomes like a yellow dye when mixed with oxygen. Whether inhaled or chewed, chromogens settle into the tiny pores in your tooth enamel. By reducing or eliminating use of foods or tobacco high in chromogens, you can improve the colour of your teeth.

Aging/Internal Stains

As we get older tooth enamel erodes, revealing more dentin. Dentin is naturally yellow, so having fewer layers of enamel on your teeth can reveal that colour. Also, some medications can change the appearance of tooth enamel. Antibiotics with Tetracycline, for example, can have long-term yellowing effects on developing teeth. Internal bleeding due to trauma can stain teeth permanently.


If you brush too hard, tooth enamel can erode faster than normal. However, if you brush too softly your brush won’t get deep enough to properly clean teeth. Talk to a dentist or hygienist and show him/her how you brush your teeth; they’ll be able to advise the ideal way to clean.

Professional Tooth Whitening

Just like eye, hair, and skin color, teeth come in a variety of shades and colours. If you have regular professional cleanings, brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, are a non-smoker — and still suffer from discolouration — odds are the yellowing is a genetic issue. Good news: You improve your smile by having professional teeth whitening.

Dr. Mark Rhody and our skilled team would love to help you brighten your teeth. Depending upon your general oral health, whitening might be a safe and quick option.  Contact us at (416) 231-4281 to learn more and schedule an initial consult.

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