Also, some of us are just born this way, with slightly yellower teeth than others. Tough break.
Why enamel matters
"Enamel" is basically the outer coating of your teeth. It's semi-translucent and delicate, even though it serves as the tough exterior to the tooth itself.
"Enamel is porous and picks up stains from things like coffee and wine," says Victoria Veytsman, DDS. "It does not grow back, so you want to do your best to protect it."
How to prevent further stains and protect your teeth
We're not going to tell you to majorly change your consumptions habits: Instead, we're going to help you protect your teeth while still consuming whatever you'd like.
The first key: Rinse your mouth out after you eat/drink anything dark.
And, if you must imbibe, try to drink dark liquids through a straw, says Dr. Jeffrey Rappaport.
How to whiten without the strips
It doesn't hurt to use over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and washes, but honestly, don't expect a miracle. Try these on for size:
Make a paste with baking soda and water…
… and brush gently.
"If you're going to do this, remember baking soda is very abrasive and brushing too hard can cause damage to enamel," Dr. Rappaport suggests. "This is great to do at night to break up any stains that may have accumulated during the day from drinking coffee or red wine and eating foods like berries. But it shouldn't be used immediately after meals."