When it comes to the health of our teeth, prevention is always better than cure. The best way to maintain a white and confident smile is to avoid eating certain foods and give up unhealthy habits. The first step is, of course, proper, precise and consistent oral hygiene, but it is also important to know what causes yellow teeth and another unwanted staining.

We should be aware that natural tooth colour is very individual. Some people may have a more yellowish shade of teeth, others a brownish or greyish shade. The natural tooth colour is most influenced by the dentin and the thickness of the enamel covering it. Colour changes over the years, so that milk teeth, for example, are on average whiter than permanent teeth. As teeth age, they become more yellow, due to the increased porosity of the teeth. The colour of the teeth is then determined by the underlying dentin, which is more yellow than the tooth enamel. Yellow teeth can be healthier than snow-white teeth. 


Prolonged consumption of foods and drinks with strong pigments, known as chromogenic foods, can cause significant staining of the teeth. Acidic drinks also contribute, which erode tooth enamel and make it easier for dyes to reach deeper areas. Teeth should be brushed or rinsed with water after drinking coffee, red wine, tea, coca-cola… Dark pigments stick to the surface of the tooth enamel, causing the teeth to darken over time. Black tea is usually high in tannins, which stain teeth even more strongly than coffee.

Adding milk to tea or coffee can help prevent pigments from sticking to your teeth, as they bind to the proteins in the milk and land in your stomach. Milk is also an excellent source of calcium, which is important for the health of our teeth.

Rumeni zobje in pitje rdečega vina


Any food that stains our fingers is likely to stain our teeth. Foods rich in natural colours include blueberries, beetroot, tomatoes and soy sauce

Sugar from foods provides food for the bacteria in plaque. If sugary plaque is not removed, teeth become yellow. At the same time, the risk of tooth decay increases.


There are many health reasons to quit smoking, but on top of all of them, tobacco is the main culprit for yellow and stained teeth. The build-up of brown stains is caused by the nicotine and tar that smokers come into contact with.

Individuals who smoke put their oral health at risk and increase their chances of developing periodontal disease. Uncontrolled periodontal disease results in chronic inflammation of the gums and loss of tooth bone, leading to tooth decay and tooth loss.


Rumeni zobje in kajenje

In addition to avoiding all the factors that cause staining, it is very important to maintain regular oral hygiene – brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day and flossing thoroughly every day. It is also important to remember to wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth after a meal. Some acidic foods can soften the enamel after consumption and brushing can further damage the thin layer that protects the enamel.

It is a good idea to drink a glass of water with a glass of red wine or coffee to rinse your teeth and prevent stains from sticking to your teeth.

Using an oral solution after brushing can also be very helpful in preventing plaque and tartar build-up. OROXID WITH ACTIVE OXYGEN has proven to be particularly effective, with OROXID® forte oral solution and OROXID® sensitiv oral solution being the most well-known solutions. The oxygen bubbles easily reach hard-to-reach areas under the gums and under the teeth that cannot be reached with a toothbrush and clean them mechanically. As they are antiseptic, they destroy bad bacteria on the teeth and gums and prevent inflammation. OROXIDE causes the oxidation of stained plaque and lightens it, while it does not damage the tooth enamel itself.


A dentist or dental hygienist uses professional teeth cleaning to remove plaque, which is soft yellowish plaque that builds upon the teeth, and tartar, which cannot be removed at home with a toothbrush.

So how often do we need to see the dentist? For most, annual visits are enough, but those who are more prone to tooth and gum disease and tartar build-up need more frequent visits.


  • Bupa Dental. Whitening: 8 Habits That Can Stain Teeth [Online October 2021];
  • Alkhatib, Mhd N et al. “Smoking and tooth discolouration: findings from a national cross-sectional study.” BMC public health vol. 5 27. 24 Mar. 2005, doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-27