Yellow Teeth? 8 Culprits that Stain Your Pearly Whites

smiling young woman with white teeth and smiling baby

Teeth whitening is a singular goal, but there are many ways to keep your teeth as “pearly white” as the name implies. You can eliminate tobacco use (one of the chief ways to whiten teeth), brush teeth after eating, and choose a safe teeth-whitening product. For the latter method, make sure you contact a dentist. Your dentist can examine your teeth to make sure they are healthy and ready for a recommended (and safe) teeth whitening product.

Another way to keep teeth white and avoid ugly teeth stains is to avoid foods and drinks that are known for teeth staining. Use this list of foods and drinks that stain teeth, drinking water and good brushing habits after an occasional indulgence, and regular dentist appointments to keep teeth bright and white.


That daily cup of joe can be a key source of teeth staining. The dark color of the drink stains the outer layer of teeth. While the effects of the coffee can’t be completely erased, drinking a lighter colored cup of java can lessen the staining.


Berries (think blueberries, cherries, etc.) are one of the top offenders of teeth staining. Desserts and dishes with berries as an ingredient are also on the list, such as pies and cobblers.


Sorry, wine lovers, this popular drink can stain teeth. Unfortunately, white wine is also a cause of teeth staining; wine can soften enamel and leave teeth vulnerable to staining.


A stain from beets can be incredibly hard to get out of a tablecloth; the same is true for the teeth. Beets can discolor teeth; drink water and brush soon after to avoid ugly teeth stains.


Dark teas are the worst offenders, but all teas are offenders in teeth staining and yellowing. The darkest teas top the list; porous teeth can absorb the dark color.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauces and soups are delicious, but their dark color and acidity can contribute to yellow and stained teeth.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce adds flavor and stains to teeth. Because of the dark coloring, soy sauce—and any dark-colored sauce—can stain teeth (and clothing, be careful!)


Indulging in a soda may seem innocent, but sweetened drinks (including sports drinks) can damage teeth in two different ways. Sweetened drinks are one of the main contributing factors to tooth decay. Dark-colored sodas, such as colas, can also stain and yellow teeth.

Balsamic Vinegar

This tasty dressing is a delicious addition to salads and dishes. The dark color sticks to teeth, making it a notable culprit of stained teeth. To minimize the stains, chew on crunchy lettuce and brush as soon as possible afterward.

Area Dental Clinic

We provide a full range of technologically advanced dental services for all ages. At your first visit you can expect a comprehensive exam by Dr. Gibson, Dr. Thomas or Dr. Pausma and necessary x-rays. The doctor will determine what kind of cleaning you will need and diagnose all needed treatment.