If you have yellow or stained teeth, you have probably tried quite a few remedies ranging from over-the-counter treatments and home remedies to professional cosmetic dentistry procedures. But have you ever wondered why your teeth are yellow or stained to begin with? While some causes of stained teeth are out of your control, others are not. For example, avoiding certain types of foods and beverages may help keep your teeth white and bright.

Following are three surprising things that can stain your teeth:

Whitening and Brightening Toothpastes

Some, but not all, whitening and brightening toothpastes contain abrasives that can actually damage the enamel of your teeth. This is especially true of older products and products marketed towards smokers and coffee drinkers. Home remedies, such as baking soda, can also do harm to the enamel of your teeth, which will result in more stains later on.

For this reason, professional whitening treatments are a better option. However, if you must use whitening toothpastes at home, talk to your dentist about which ones are safe. You should use them sparingly, no more than three times per week. 

Medications and Heredity

Many people suffer from what's known as intrinsic stains - stains that develop on the inside of teeth. Intrinsic stains are caused by heredity and certain medications. Surprisingly, babies can even develop stained teeth if their mother took certain medications while pregnant. Severe illnesses can also cause these stains to develop.

Additionally, some dental materials, such as silver-colored fillings, can cause deep stains within teeth. These stains are almost impossible to get rid of. However, porcelain veneers are always great for covering up difficult stains and other cosmetic flaws. 

Certain Foods and Beverages

Yes, it's true. You might be staining your teeth by eating certain foods. Common foods and beverages that cause tooth enamel stains include coffee, tea, wine, dark fruit juices, blueberries, beets, soy sauce, and tomato sauce among others. Fortunately, other types of foods can actually clean and whiten your teeth. These foods include fibrous selections, such as apples, carrots, celery and cauliflower. 

As you can see, there are many surprising things that can stain your teeth. Lucky for you, your cosmetic dentist can help you get rid of stubborn stains and maintain a gorgeous smile. Regular cleanings and professional teeth whitening treatments are the best way to keep your teeth looking white and bright. You should also avoid things that can stain your teeth between visits.