5 Common Causes Of Teeth Staining and How to Remove Them
A man smiling after removing stains from his teeth

It’s no secret that white, clean teeth help you look well-groomed and attractive, and one of the major culprits ruining your white teeth is staining. 

Knowing more about the causes of teeth staining—and how to remove stains once you have them—helps you keep your teeth sparkling and healthy. But it’s a little more complicated than just brushing each night. Learn more from the pros at Alondra Dental.

Top Causes of Teeth Staining

1. Cigarettes and Tobacco

As if you needed another reason to quit smoking, here’s a big one: cigarettes and tobacco are notorious for creating teeth stains that are very difficult, almost impossible, to remove. If you smoke regularly, know that there is no reliable way to keep your teeth healthy and white. Whitening strips and professional cleanings won’t do much for you if you continue to smoke.

2. Inadequate Oral Hygiene 

If you don’t take care of your teeth on a regular basis, signs of poor oral hygiene will show. Even if you do brush your teeth every day, make sure to add flossing to your routine.

Neglecting to floss can cause plaque buildup and lead to gum disease. While it may not seem that flossing between teeth has anything to do with staining on the teeth, removing this plaque limits the number of stain-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Wooden toothbrushes with a small branch.

3. Coffee, Tea, Dark Sodas, and Red Wine

Unfortunately, some of the best beverages in life are also some of the top causes of teeth staining. If you simply can’t get rid of your stains, your coffee and wine could be the culprit. These beverages are usually dark and acidic, which contributes to much faster staining than almost anything else you eat or drink, especially in excess.

4. Age

Age affects your teeth both on a surface level (extrinsic) and below the surface level (intrinsic). Your dentin, or core tissue, yellows naturally over time, and your enamel gradually thins to let this yellow show through. There is not much you can do to remove this cause of teeth staining, of course, but you can reduce the other factors that contribute to yellowing, like what you drink and how you practice oral hygiene

5. Medical Treatments and Trauma 

Certain medical treatments, especially harsh and intense ones like chemotherapy and radiation, can discolor your teeth. Trauma that happens in childhood can also affect how your teeth grow and therefore cause inherent discoloration, so make sure your child goes to the dentist at a young age if you’re concerned. Certain diseases or medications, including some antipsychotics, can also cause yellowing. If you think your teeth have suddenly changed color for a medical reason, ask your doctor. 

Smiling brunette woman with white teeth.

Top Teeth Stain Removal Methods

Now that we’ve covered the causes of teeth staining, here’s how to tackle those elusive culprits.

Beat Those Beverages

Just because our delicious drinks stain your teeth doesn’t mean you need to give up the finer things in life! Just practice moderation and try to brush your teeth soon after drinking these beverages so the stains don’t have time to settle in. 

If a toothbrush isn’t at hand, an easy remedy is simply to swish often with water so the beverages don’t linger on your teeth. If you drink a lot of coffee, you could also switch to cold coffee drinks with a straw so the liquid doesn’t touch your teeth as much. 

Practice Correct Oral Hygiene

No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to get a refresher on the basics of brushing and flossing. You might simply need to brush your teeth for longer each day, use a different toothpaste, or floss more often. Timing matters, too. Make sure to brush and floss after you’ve had a meal, not right before you plan on eating or drinking. Always rinse out your mouth before bed to limit the bacteria build-up at night.

Get A Professional Cleaning 

Intrinsic teeth stain removal is sometimes much harder than simply reducing dark beverages and practicing better hygiene. If your whitening strips and flossing aren’t cutting it, it’s time to visit your dentist. The first thing you should try is a professional cleaning. Deep teeth cleaning involves scaling and root planing, neither of which you can do yourself. Your dentist may use laser therapy or antimicrobial agents to achieve this, both of which are gentle and non-surgical. 

Schedule Professional Teeth Whitening

Dentistry can also be cosmetic. If your teeth are clean but still don’t have the whiteness you desire, professional whitening may be for you. At our office, we use custom bleach splints and special bleaching agents customized to your desired brightness. This requires only easy and occasional at-home treatment to maintain. Professional whitening is safe, quick, and surprisingly inexpensive.

Don’t Overcompensate

Some people get anxious about how yellow their teeth look and overcompensate by using an excess of fluoride rinses or whitening strips. There can certainly be “too much of a good thing” in the case of teeth stain removal. Don’t combine too many products, and don’t use them more than the package says, or you could create uncomfortable tooth sensitivity or worse. And remember: Teeth whitening is not usually instant. It takes time and at least a little effort.

Consult The Best Dentists in Norwalk, California

When it comes to your unique teeth, a personal examination is always helpful. Alondra Dental is a renowned dental office with friendly staff, and we’re happily accepting new patients. If you want personalized advice on teeth stain removal, don’t hesitate to contact us

About Dr. Abad

Dr. Abad founded Alondra Dental Care with the goal of providing superior dental care through attentive service and state-of-the-art technology. For over 20 years, Dr. Abad has been putting patients first at every step of their dental treatment. When she's not in the office, Dr. Abad can be found in her garden or out giving back to the community. As a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, American Association of Clear Aligners, and Harbor Dental Society, Dr. Abad enjoys educating others on the importance of quality dental health and regular dental exams.