Prevent yellow teeth with Less brushing pressure on teeth

Prevent yellow teeth with Less brushing pressure on teeth

Written by Dr. Radhika Gadge

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 16, 2024

Written by Dr. Radhika Gadge

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 16, 2024

Yellow teeth are quite an embarrassment for the person himself when going out in the public. You notice people with yellow teeth or you might be a victim of it yourself. Yellow teeth do give an unpleasant feeling to the one noticing them. People often think brushing hard would clean their teeth better and make them whiter. This is a MYTH. What if we told you— by doing so you’re making them more prone to turn yellow. Let us give you a simple example.

Do you wash your clothes frequently or brush them hard? You must have noticed them becoming dull and eventually they wear out if you try too hard. To give you another example you may notice your shoes getting worn off from the soles with continuous and frequent use. The point being anything in excess can cause damage over a period of time. A similar thing happens when your try to brush your teeth too hard or aggressively. To understand this—

Let’s find out how aggressive brushing can turn your teeth yellow.

Common reasons for yellow teeth

  • Poor oral hygiene -The most common factor that people often struggle with is poor oral hygiene. We are often in a hurry at the start of the day and brush our teeth as quickly as possible. This does not eliminate the plaque effectively. Plaque is a thin film like the one we see on the windows. It is a soft layer like that of a cream and mostly contains microorganisms. If not removed for a longer time plaque can turn into hard calculus. They make your teeth appear yellow.
  • Excess consumption of acidic and soda drinks -Some of us love to have acidic and alcoholic beverages, especially during the summers. But are you making it a daily habit? Beware! this can turn your teeth yellow.
  • Worn off enamel- Brushing hard to remove the plaque and calculus or having acidic and alcoholic drinks daily can cause wearing away of enamel on your teeth. Enamel is the outer white covering of your teeth. Once that is lost, it exposes the inner side of the tooth and turns them yellow.

What is aggressive brushing pressure?

Aggressive brushing

Aggressive brushing pressure is simply brushing your teeth way too hard and applying more pressure on teeth than actually required. Remember you do not have to scrub your teeth, just clean them.

People generally have this notion— that brushing hard can effectively clean their teeth much better. But remember you are cleaning your teeth— a part of your body. You are not trying to wash your clothes or utensils here. The main idea of brushing your teeth is to remove plaque, and not make them white. No amount of excess pressure can make your yellow teeth white. Plaque is so soft that you can ideally remove it by just scratching it with your nail. Imagine how much pressure will it take to get rid of plaque with a toothbrush? All you need to do is- go gentle and apply more brushing strokes.

Signs you’re brushing too hard

  • The bristles of your toothbrush appear frayed and spread out
  • You can literally, hear heavy friction between brush bristles and your teeth
  • Sensitivity of the teeth
  • Bleeding from the gums
  • If you are a right-handed person you can notice more yellowing of teeth on the left side.
  • If you are a left-handed person you can notice more yellowing of teeth on the right side.

What happens if you apply too much pressure on your teeth?

Although you are brushing daily to maintain hygiene, brushing twice daily will definitely clean 60% of your teeth, but using too much pressure while brushing can definitely have damaging effects too.

When you apply more brushing pressure on your teeth, there is friction between the two. This causes your enamel to wear off with constant friction. Naturally wearing off the enamel over a period of time causes it to become thin, weak, and ultimately disappear with time. So how does losing the enamel layer of your teeth cause them to appear yellow?

Damage to tooth enamel

Enamel is the hardest substance in the body and the reason why your teeth appear white. Just like you wear a helmet to protect your head while riding a bike, similarly, this enamel layer protects the inner important structures inside the tooth. The enamel protects the teeth from excessive chewing forces, fracture, and acid attacks.

You might be wondering how the damage to tooth enamel exactly occurs? Imagine you are sharpening a pencil frequently. One day you will end up with a pencil no longer available for use. In the same way damage to tooth enamel doesn’t take place overnight. If you keep on brushing hard with pressure on the teeth for a long period of time, you are creating gradual damage to your enamel. Also, the acidic and alcoholic beverages that you drink daily can wear off your enamel due to acid action.

Eventually, the enamel or the shield of your teeth is lost and the inner tissues of your teeth are exposed. Enamel once lost cannot repair on its own. Once the enamel is lost, the tooth starts appearing yellow. But how?

Yellow reflection of dentine

Yellow reflection of dentine after enamel layer is exposed

Have you ever had a close look at the coconut? It has an outer thick brown covering and an inner soft white part which we consume. Likewise, your teeth have an outer white covering called the enamel and an inner yellow part called dentin. Once your enamel is lost with aggressive brushing, the yellow dentin is exposed. This turns your white teeth to yellow before you start wondering why.

Hence, a close check on your oral habits is necessary. One right habit can prevent your teeth from turning yellow.

Using less brushing pressure can help

Using less brushing pressure can help prevent yellow teeth

Brush less, but appropriate — is like a rule for prevention of yellowing of teeth. When you use less pressure on teeth, there is less damage to tooth enamel. Hence your enamel doesn’t wear off with time and continues to protect the inner tissues of the teeth. The white enamel coating still covers your teeth, protecting the natural white color. Hence, this prevents your teeth from appearing yellow.

Moreover, the right brushing method can keep your plaque levels in control. Less plaque accumulation means less yellowing of your teeth.

How to know if you are brushing the right way?

  • You won’t notice the flattening of the bristles of your toothbrush.
  • No loud noises of brushing teeth can be heard.
  • You do not experience sensitivity while having your favorite food.
  • Your gums appear healthy and don’t bleed while brushing.
  • No yellowing of your teeth can be seen.

Bottom Line

Aggressive tooth brushing can cause the wearing of tooth enamel and make your teeth appear yellow. Using light brushing pressure is one way to prevent your yellow teeth. Appropriate toothbrushing practice with less pressure on the teeth is the natural way to prevent yellow teeth and boost your confidence.


  • Yellowing of teeth is a common occurrence seen among people.
  • There is a misconception that brushing hard can whiten your teeth.
  • Aggressive or vigorous brushing can do no benefit and instead damage your already white teeth.
  • The more the enamel on the teeth is worn off, the more yellow the teeth appear.
  • Yellowing of teeth not just hampers the appearance of the individual but also predisposes to teeth hypersensitivity.
  • Tooth enamel damage cannot repair on its own.
  • Less vigorous but appropriate toothbrushing is the natural way to whiten your teeth
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