Why do my teeth turn Yellow ?

Yellowness of the teeth doesn’t make us look or feel all that attractive. Individuals with yellow teeth avoid smiling or tend to feel socially embarrassed to show their teeth. In this article, the causes of yellow teeth explained, top foods and drinks that causes yellow teeth are highlighted and prevention of teeth staining is discussed.

What causes teeth to become yellow

There are 2 main reasons why your teeth can turn from white to yellow. The first is foods and drinks that stain them. The second, less commonly known reason, is that acids in certain foods and drinks wear away teeth white enamel coating. Pop is highly acidic, and leaving it sitting on your teeth can wear down the protective enamel layer.

When it’s at its thickest, and its best, tooth enamel is naturally the colour white. Unfortunately, as wears down, it becomes translucent- and shows the next layer of the tooth through it underneath, called dentin. This dentin layer of your teeth is naturally a slightly yellow tone, so as the enamel gets thinner, your teeth will appear more yellow. Many elderly people have yellow teeth, and this is the most common cause of that. The longer you’ve had your teeth, the more chance wear has been down to the white protective enamel.yellow teeth

Foods & Drinks That Causes Yellow Teeth

These listed foods and drinks not only stain your teeth, they also are acidic and wear away enamel.

Black Tea

black tea leaves

Black tea has many benefits but unfortunately it can stain teeth- considered one of the most problematic drinks for the discoloration of teeth. Green tea is considered much less likely to cause problems, healthier as well.

Pop and Sports Drinks


Phosphoric and citric acid in pop, along with huge amounts of acidic sugar, wear down tooth enamel. If you leave a tooth in a glass of Coke overnight, you’ll wake up to finding a heavily discolored tooth. It will turn black if left in the glass for a week. So be sure to brush after drinking pop- you don’t something that causes such discolouration sticking to your teeth.

Even lightly colored pops are acidic enough to damage tooth enamel. Recent studies show that ‘sports drinks’ like Powerade have even higher levels of destructive acids than Pepsi and Coke do.


Candy is known for it’s teeth staining, not just because of high sugar content, but because of the length of time they stay in your mouth, too! The longer a candy is sucked on, the more damage they can do. If it stains your tongue and lips, it’s staining your teeth.



Red wine is well-known to discolor teeth due to its deeply colored polyphenols and tannins. White wine is just as bad, as its tannins and acidity primes tooth enamel for getting stained.

Curry & Sauce

Brightly coloured curries, sweet chili sauce, and tomato sauce stick to your porous enamel, so don’t leave them sitting on your teeth for long.

AMAZING FACT: Having a starter salad or steamed vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower creates a protective layer over enamel to lessen the chances of staining. Eat your greens! Especially at the start of your meal.


Soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and ketchup are contribute to teeth staining.

Fruit Juices

Commercial fruit juices are much more acidic than most people know, and brightly coloured ones in particular are a problem if you want to keep your teeth white. Freshly squeezed juices aren’t processed in the same way as concentrated ones, therefore they  aren’t as much of a problem in regards to their acidity, but don’t leave them on your teeth!


Brightly Colored Fruits & Vegetables

Although they’re healthy, pomegranates, blueberries, and beets are loaded with strongly coloured compounds, such as polyphenols. These substances are very beneficial inside our bodies, but not so much on our teeth. Rather than avoiding these, minimize the staining potential with these tips…

2 Simple Ways to Prevent Yellow Teeth

You might be tempted, but to reach for your toothbrush straight after eating these foods listed would be a mistake. Dental enamel actually becomes softer after eating one of these foods or drinking one of these drinks for at least half an hour afterwards. Brushing during this time may actually make things worse by wearing away the weakened enamel. Fortunately it should harden again within the hour so you can brush your teeth with a soft bristled toothbrush then, if you like.

Here are 2 simple things to remember for after eating or drinking any of the suspects on our list:

  1. The first is to have a big sip of water. Swirl it around your mouth to clear away acids and staining compounds. Just remembering this alone will make a big difference to the whiteness of your teeth!
  2. The second is to get more saliva into your mouth after eating and let it move over your teeth. It’s easy to do after a sip of water. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense against enamel erosion, stains, and cavities.

Remember to wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after any acidic drinks because of the risk of weakened enamel.

If you have any questions about yellow teeth. Please feel free to ask us by contacting our office. We also offer teeth whitening in Oakville. We have 2 options to whitening the teeth: Zoom whitening and whitening trays.