First things first, you’ll want to write down a list of possible lifestyle habits that could be discoloring your teeth. For the most part, this falls into two categories: Food and dental hygiene habits.
“Coffee, tea, red wine, sodas, and tobacco use are the most common culprits for yellowing teeth,” dentist and founder of Walden Dental David Frank, DMD tells mbg. But if you skip a basic oral care routine—including brushing, flossing, and possibly a mouthwash, there’s no way your teeth will stay perfectly white.
In addition, some medications can cause tooth discoloration. “Antihistamines, antipsychotics, and blood pressure medications can cause dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and yellowing of the teeth,” Levine says.
These factors can be harder to spot and control, so meet with your dentist if you think any of the above may apply to you. Regardless, start with the habits you can control.
Once you’ve evaluated what might be causing your teeth to yellow in the first place, do your best to either moderate or eliminate the habit if possible. If you’re concerned about coffee (this one’s arguably the most common), consider opting for a reusable straw to ensure the coffee doesn’t touch your front teeth, or carry a travel-friendly toothbrush with you for a quick cleaning post-coffee.