The inevitable passage of time brings progress, wisdom, and, unfortunately, yellow teeth.

But why? It’s easy to think that excellent oral care should keep your teeth pearly white. However, that’s not how it works. Let’s dive into why teeth become yellow over time.

Food and Drinks

Food and drinks can stain your teeth. They do it in two primary ways. Many foods and beverages cause both of these issues simultaneously.

Simple Staining

Simple staining is what it sounds like: staining caused by the color of what you consume. Here are just a few of the common stainers.

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Soy sauce
  • Curries
  • Berries

Acidic Content

Acid eats away at your enamel, making it more porous. Many foods and drinks are acidic.

  • Cola
  • All wine
  • Tomato sauce
  • Coffee
  • Vinegar

Some of the above-listed foods and drinks are healthy, so you shouldn’t forego all of them. Instead, brush your teeth twice a day and rinse your mouth after each meal.


Everyone knows that subpar oral hygiene can lead to yellow teeth. However, many people don’t know the complete story. Even people who engage in rigorous oral care can wind up sabotaging their teeth.

  • Don’t brush too often or too hard! You’ll scrub away at your enamel.
  • Don’t brush your teeth immediately after a meal. Because many meals contain acid, brushing as soon as you’re done eating means you’re brushing the acid into your enamel.
  • On that note, brush before you eat breakfast, not after.
  • Instead of brushing after meals, rinse your mouth with water or mouth wash.

The Aging Process

No matter how perfectly you care for your teeth, your enamel will thin as you age. With thinner enamel, the yellow dentin will show through more and more over time. Though taking great care of your teeth can slow this process down, you can’t stop the process altogether.


“Life” sounds vague, but it’s true. Medications, mouth trauma, dry mouth, and countless other things can make teeth yellow. Some of these issues are avoidable. (If you want to avoid mouth trauma, a boxing career isn’t for you!)

Other issues, like the need for essential medications, are beyond your control. Yellow teeth aren’t the end of the world, so make sure to weigh your priorities. If you need to do something that will make your teeth yellow, you can always have them whitened later.


No matter what you do, your teeth will yellow over time. Fortunately, if you take the right steps, you can significantly slow that process down. It’s pretty simple: Keep track of your eating habits, and take care of your oral health.