How to Get Rid of Yellow Teeth at Home

whiten yellow teeth

Yellow teeth, albeit unsightly, are a natural process in the ageing of teeth. Yellow stains on teeth may occur due to several factors, from stains on the surface of the tooth to the wearing down of the white tooth enamel over time.

Are teeth naturally yellow? Damage to enamel will reveal the true yellow colour of teeth underneath.

But fear not, there are a number of safe and affordable ways to whiten your teeth at home.

Why Are My Teeth Yellow in the First Place?


Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Tooth Discolouration

As we age, the white enamel of our teeth becomes worn down. As a result, the calcified tissue (dentin), which has a yellow (sometimes grey) hue, shows through the damaged tooth enamel. This is known as intrinsic tooth discolouration.

Lifestyle factors that introduce compounds known to stain the surface of teeth (enamel), as well as plaque build-up, will also influence the appearance of teeth and their colour. The staining of enamel (the surface of white teeth stained yellow) is known as extrinsic tooth discolouration.

How to Avoid Yellow Stains on Teeth

Now that we understand how teeth turning yellow can occur, we can tackle the problem.

Prevention is always more effective than a cure. Good overall oral hygiene is the first preventative measure you can take to counter teeth yellowing:

  • Brush teeth twice daily
  • Brush your tongue
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Routinely visit your healthcare professional
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Floss regularly

Most Common Causes of Yellow Teeth (Extrinsic Tooth Discolouration)

Tannins – The most notorious culprit when it comes to substances that stain the exterior enamel of teeth are Tannins. Tannins are an organic group of compounds that give many foods and drinks their dark colour and bitter taste like wine, coffee and tea.

Acids – Excessive acid can be why your teeth are turning yellow. Tooth enamel starts to erode at a pH of 5.5, this erosion means the outer white enamel breaks down, making teeth appear yellow.

Chromogens – Strong pigments that allow for yellow stains to linger on the teeth.

Misaligned Teeth – Yellow stains may be more prominent on misaligned teeth because the surface enamel is difficult to reach using toothbrushes and floss. The fact of the matter is that when teeth are straight, they are easier to protect from yellow stains. Book a free consultation today to find out how Hampstead Orthodontic Practice can help you achieve a beautiful, bright white smile.

Smoking – All tobacco products cause yellow stains on teeth, whether it be smoking cigarettes, cigars or even chewing tobacco.

Fluoride – The excessive use of products containing fluoride has also been linked to teeth turning yellow due to premature wearing down of the enamel.

14 Natural Teeth Whitening Methods

All the below-mentioned teeth whitening methods are raw materials you may already have in your home or are readily available at any supermarket. While they can be used independently, their teeth-whitening properties are heightened when combined.

1) Salt

Salt is a natural antiseptic and abrasive. These qualities make it a great candidate for whitening yellow teeth by cleaning the surface. Avoid using salt for teeth whitening if the enamel of your teeth is damaged as the salt will erode the enamel further. It is best used mixed with the other natural teeth-whitening ingredients listed below, like cloves and mustard oil.

2) Cloves

Cloves contain high levels of eugenol which is a strong antiseptic. It has been used for centuries as a toothache remedy. While cloves can help to whiten yellow teeth, they can also prevent cavities and gum disease. Clove can be used diluted in coconut oil, either as a powder or essential oil.

3) Garlic

Garlic gets a bad rep when it comes to oral care because of its pungent halitosis-causing agents. However, its high levels of allicin help patients get whiter teeth when eaten raw, thanks to allicin’s strong bacteria-reducing properties.

4) Turmeric and Cardamom 

Turmeric is an antimicrobial herb and whole cardamom pods have been used for centuries as a natural breath freshener and natural teeth-whitening remedy. This duo is a potent oral health boost as well as an ideal way to whiten teeth naturally. Mix powdered turmeric and cardamom with some coconut oil and brush your teeth with this paste.

5) Holy Basil and Sage

Both basil and sage have natural bleaching properties that are effective at removing yellow stains from teeth. You can mix the dried herbs in your regular toothpaste or make a paste with coconut oil/mustard oil and let it sit on your teeth for a few minutes.

6) Citrus Peels

Orange, tangerine, grapefruit and lemon peels are adept at removing stains on teeth due to their citric acid content. Rubbing the peels on your teeth is all it takes. Mixing some sweet orange essential oil into your toothpaste or diluted with coconut oil will also work.

Do not do it too often as excessive exposure to citric acid may wear down your tooth enamel.

7) Strawberry

The malic acid present in strawberries can whiten teeth. This method of whitening yellow teeth is most effective when creating a paste made from strawberries and baking soda.

8) Apple

What can’t an apple do? It keeps the doctor away and can even help maintain white teeth. All you have to do is eat an apple a day! Chew it finely to release the malic acid’s teeth-whitening abilities. The simple act of chewing a crunchy apple can act as a mild abrasive that cleans yellow stains from teeth.

9) Mustard Oil

The inherent cleansing properties of mustard oil make it an accessible way to naturally whiten teeth. It is best used with bicarbonate of soda or salt. It can also be used in combination with the oil-pulling step further below to stave off infection.

10) Sodium Bicarbonate/Baking Soda

Bicarb is a mild abrasive that can protect teeth from turning yellow. So much so that it is an active ingredient in many commercial kinds of toothpaste. It is most effective at whitening yellow when used in combination with strawberry, mustard oil, whitening spices and herbs.

11) Oil Pulling

Oil pulling to whiten teeth can be done with olive, coconut or sesame oil. Simply swish the oil of your choosing in your mouth for up to 20 minutes each day for the best results.

For an added boost of natural teeth-whitening power, add some mustard oil and/or sweet orange oil to the mix.

12) Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is rich in minerals that cling to the stains on the surface of teeth. Do not crush aggressively as this may prove to be too abrasive and wear down tooth enamel.

Lightly apply the charcoal to your teeth in a paste (mixed with water or your choice of oil) and let sit for 3 minutes. Rinse and brush as you would normally and the minerals from the charcoal that have become bound to the yellow stains on the teeth will wash away too.

13) Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

The acetic acid present in ACV has a bleaching effect. When using ACV as a means of whitening teeth naturally, be sure to not use it too frequently. While acetic acid can help whiten yellow teeth, when used excessively it may erode the tooth enamel.

14) Hydrogen Peroxide

Want to know how to get rid of yellow teeth overnight? This is arguably the fastest and most effective way of whitening teeth naturally. It is an active ingredient in many commercial teeth-whitening products. 1 part of 3% hydrogen peroxide mixed with 2 parts water makes an easy and affordable tooth-whitening mouthwash.

Alternatively, create a paste using 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and brush with this to remove yellow stains on teeth.


There are multiple ways to whiten teeth at home. If you are not seeing the results you had hoped for, it may be because you require orthodontic intervention to properly access the surfaces of your teeth for proper cleaning.

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