Can stained teeth be whitened?

Our teeth start out white, but they become stained and discolored over time. They can turn yellow or brown, causing a lot of embarrassment.

While no one knows for sure how many of us have stained teeth, it’s clear that our dental health and whiteness are important to us. Whitening products and procedures are very popular these days because we see a bright smile as a social status symbol. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the majority of us (99 percent) consider our smile to be our most important social feature.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

So, what causes teeth to yellow? Smoking cigarettes or vaping, as well as eating foods that are dark in color or contain tannins, such as wine, coffee, and dark chocolate, can cause yellow teeth.  Yellowing can also occur as you get older or as a result of genetics.  Teeth yellowing can also be caused by certain medications.


Tobacco use can cause stains on the enamel of the teeth.  Tar and nicotine are the most common causes of extrinsic stains.  Tar is a dark color that can make teeth appear darker than they actually are.  When nicotine is combined with air, it turns yellow, giving teeth a yellow tint.  Both of these tobacco stains can be removed with a teeth whitening procedure.


Antibiotics can cause them to turn gray-brown.  Medications like doxycycline and tetracycline can cause tooth discoloration in children under the age of eight.  Adult teeth can be stained by antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic medications.  Consult your doctor about the potential side effects of any medications you’re taking or planning to take.


Stains on teeth can become more visible over time if they are not treated.  Teeth can also turn yellow over time as a natural part of the aging process.  Your tooth enamel can thin as you get older, allowing yellow dentin to show through.


It’s also possible that you inherited teeth that are more prone to staining or have enamel that is naturally yellow.  If you believe you have genetically yellow teeth, you can help to restore your bright smile by using whitening strips, toothpastes, or LISTERINE® HEALTHY WHITETM RESTORING Whitening Mouthwash.  The natural color of each person’s teeth varies, and some are darker than others.


Too much fluoride can stain teeth, particularly in children under the age of eight.  Ingesting too much fluoride during the tooth-forming years causes this irreversible condition.  Fluoride damages enamel-forming cells, causing a mineralization disorder that causes the sub-surface enamel to thicken and the teeth to turn a dingy yellow color.

Plaque and Tartar

Plaque accumulation in tooth crevices is a common cause of stained teeth.  Plaque is a sticky, colorless bacterial film that forms on teeth as a result of eating and drinking.  When plaque and sugars combine, acids form, which leach minerals from your teeth.  The way your teeth reflect light changes when minerals are removed from them.  This may cause unsightly white spots to appear on your teeth.  While your braces are on, plaque increases your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.


Over-bleaching, also known as the “bleached effect,” occurs when treatments promise a significant change in a short amount of time, such as hours.  A translucent and brittle appearance can result from over-bleaching.

Poor Dental Hygiene/Poor Oral Hygiene

Plaque buildup or tooth decay can also cause stained teeth.  Teeth discoloration can be hastened if you do not brush, floss, and rinse your mouth on a regular basis to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup.

How to Remove Teeth Stains?

Teeth stains can be treated in a variety of ways, fortunately.  Maintain a consistent oral health routine that includes twice-daily toothbrushing and flossing, twice-yearly visits to your dentist, and limiting your consumption of teeth-staining beverages to keep your teeth healthy and looking great.  They will look whiter and brighter with regular whitening maintenance.

Whitening Toothpaste

As previously stated, yellowing teeth is caused by proteins that lodge themselves into your enamel and alter the way the crystals of your enamel reflect light.  The use of bleaching trays or whitening toothpaste can be used to whiten yellowing teeth.  The majority of whitening toothpastes contain low-concentration bleach.  This method can work, but it takes a long time to see a difference in the color of your teeth.

In-office whitening treatments

Most dentists also offer whitening services in their offices.  These may be partially covered if you have dental insurance.  These treatments are more expensive than over-the-counter products, but they are usually faster.

Over-The-Counter Treatments

A variety of over-the-counter treatments are available.  These products are marketed as teeth whitening products that can be used at home.  Apart from the lack of active ingredients, starting a whitening program without consulting your dentist can be dangerous.

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers may be the best option for patients who only have one or two discolored teeth.  Veneers can alter the color and shape of teeth dramatically.  Deep stains and white spots on your teeth can be covered with them.  With veneers, you can avoid paying for a full teeth whitening procedure.



Practicing good oral hygiene is the simplest way to prevent brown spots on the teeth.

Prevent Future Stains on Teeth

Maintaining the whiteness of your teeth necessitates regular maintenance and upkeep.  Teeth stains can sometimes reappear or even fight back against treatment.  That’s why, in addition to any other dental issues, we recommend keeping in touch with your dentist about future whitening treatments.  Brushing and flossing on a regular basis can also help to prevent stains.

Preventing coffee stains

It is necessary to maintain and upkeep your teeth in order to keep them white.  Teeth stains can reappear or fight treatment.  That’s why, in addition to any other dental concerns, we recommend that you keep in touch with your dentist about future whitening treatments.  Brushing and flossing on a regular basis can also help to keep stains at bay.


Our teeth can be stained for a variety of reasons, including their natural color, enamel thinning, or plaque build-up.  If your teeth are in good shape but you want them to be whiter, there are a number of options available, including professional whitening, home whitening kits, and the use of whitening toothpaste.  Remember that teeth aren’t naturally white, but you should see a dentist on a regular basis so that any problems that aren’t cosmetic can be diagnosed.


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