Ways To Remove Nicotine Stains From Teeth

  • Shajrat Mir Master's Degree, Biotechnology Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Richa Lal MBBS, PG Anaesthesia, University of Mumbai, India


Smokers frequently experience nicotine stains on their teeth. Nicotine, a chemical found in tobacco products, discolours and yellows the teeth over time. The stains are not only unsightly, but they can also be a sign of poor oral hygiene, which can lead to dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay. As a result, removing nicotine stains from teeth is critical.1 This article will go over various methods for removing nicotine stains from teeth, such as good oral hygiene, home remedies, professional teeth whitening treatments, and tips for preventing nicotine stains on teeth.

Tips for removing nicotine stains from teeth

Nicotine stains on teeth can lead to various oral health issues, such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.  Furthermore, these stains can be embarrassing, leading to a loss of confidence in one's smile. Getting nicotine stains out of your teeth can improve your oral health, boost your self-esteem, and give you a more attractive smile. Continue reading to learn how to remove nicotine stains from your teeth.

Good oral hygiene practices

The first step in removing nicotine stains from teeth is to maintain good oral hygiene.

Brushing your teeth after smoking, flossing daily to remove nicotine stains in between your teeth, and using mouthwash can all help to remove nicotine stains from your teeth. 

Brushing teeth regularly after smoking

Brushing your teeth is an essential part of your dental hygiene regimen. American Dental Association recommends the following for a healthy mouth and smile:

  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled brush twice a day. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or more frequently if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush will not effectively clean your teeth
  • Use fluoride toothpaste that has been approved by the American Dental Association

Good oral hygiene practices are essential for preventing tooth decay. Cleaning between teeth at least once a day, in addition to brushing, is important for removing plaque and food particles that can contribute to tooth decay. Flossing and using interdental brushes are effective methods of cleaning between teeth and aiding in the prevention of tooth decay. 

Home remedies for nicotine stains

There are several home remedies for removing nicotine stains from teeth. Among the most popular home remedies for this purpose are baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. 

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste

A paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be used to remove nicotine stains from teeth. Apply the paste to your teeth and wait a few minutes before brushing it away.2

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a mouthwash to help remove nicotine stains from teeth. Swish one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out.3

Lemon juice

Lemon can be used to remove stains from the tooth surface. The acidity of lemon fruit is at pH 2-3, which is very acidic but lower than the critical pH of enamel (pH 5.5). This acidic nature causes demineralisation, resulting in whiter teeth. Therefore, lemon juice can also be used to remove nicotine stains from teeth naturally. Rinse your mouth with water after rubbing the inside of a lemon peel on your teeth.4

However, to avoid potential tooth and gum damage, it is critical to use these remedies with caution and in consultation with a dental professional. While home remedies for nicotine stains can be effective, it is also important to maintain good oral hygiene practices and consider professional teeth whitening treatments for more severe staining.

Professional teeth whitening treatments

Professional teeth whitening treatments, in addition to home remedies, can be effective in removing nicotine stains from teeth. These treatments are generally more effective than home remedies and provide faster and longer-lasting results. 

In-office teeth whitening treatments

In-office teeth whitening treatments remove nicotine stains from teeth quickly and effectively. A dental professional applies a high-concentration bleaching gel directly to the teeth during these treatments. A special light or laser activates the gel, speeding up the whitening process.

In-office teeth whitening treatments give fast results. Typically achieving up to 8 shades of whitening improvement in just one visit. They are, however, expensive and require an appointment at a dental office.

While in-office teeth whitening treatments can effectively remove nicotine stains, they can also cause tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.  

Take-home whitening kits

To remove nicotine stains from teeth, take-home whitening kits are a popular and effective option. These kits include custom-fitted trays and bleaching gel that can be used at home. The trays fit over the teeth and keep the bleaching gel in place for a set amount of time, usually 30 minutes to an hour.

Take-home whitening kits are less expensive, more convenient, and give you more control over the whitening process than in-office whitening treatments. They do, however, necessitate more time and commitment because the treatment is typically carried out over several weeks, with daily or nightly applications of the bleaching gel.5

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products

Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are a cheap and convenient way to remove nicotine stains from your teeth. These products usually consist of whitening strips, gels, and toothpaste with a lower concentration of bleaching agents than professional treatments. While they may not produce the same dramatic results as in-office treatments, they can provide a significant improvement over time. However, it is important to note that excessive use of these products can result in tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. It is also critical to carefully follow the instructions and use products that have been approved by dental associations to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

This link will take you to products that have been approved by the American Dental Association.

Preventing nicotine stains on teeth

In addition to preventing nicotine stains on teeth, quitting smoking or using smokeless tobacco products also improves general health. Lung cancer, heart disease, and respiratory issues are just a few of the health issues caused by tobacco use. Giving up tobacco can result in improved oral health, better overall health, and a more radiant smile. 

Aside from quitting smoking, there are other methods for preventing nicotine stains on teeth. To begin with, it is critical to practice good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing regularly to remove any plaque or bacteria buildup that can contribute to tooth staining. Using toothpaste designed to remove stains can also be beneficial.

Also, ingesting beverages that can stain teeth, such as coffee or tea, through a straw can help minimise contact with the teeth. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also aid in the removal of any food particles or bacteria that may be contributing to staining.

Maintaining a healthy diet, low in sugar and acidic food, is essential for protecting your teeth as these types of foods can cause tooth enamel erosion and thus contribute to staining. Regular dental cleanings and checkups can also help prevent nicotine stains by removing plaque and identifying any early signs of staining or other oral health issues.

To prevent nicotine stains on teeth, good oral hygiene practices, healthy lifestyle choices, and regular dental care are required. Individuals can enjoy a brighter, healthier smile while lowering their risk of tobacco-related health issues by taking these steps.


Smokers frequently experience nicotine stains on their teeth. Tobacco products' nicotine and tar can cause yellow or brown discolouration of teeth, which can be challenging to remove with regular brushing. These stains not only affect the appearance of teeth, but they can also cause oral health issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. Quitting smoking is therefore important for overall health and maintaining good oral health and a bright, white smile. Don't give up if you're dealing with nicotine stains on your teeth. You can improve your oral health and regain your confidence with the right treatment and a commitment to quitting smoking.


  1. Warnakulasuriya S, Dietrich T, Bornstein MM, Casals Peidró E, Preshaw PM, Walter C, et al. Oral health risks of tobacco use and effects of cessation. Int Dent J. 2010 Feb;60(1):7–30.
  2. Shamel M, Al-Ankily MM, Bakr MM. Influence of different types of whitening toothpastes on the tooth color, enamel surface roughness, and enamel morphology of human teeth. F1000Res [Internet]. 2019 Oct 16 [cited 2023 Mar 21];8:1764. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6900807/
  3. Li Y. Stain removal and whitening by baking soda dentifrice: A review of literature. The Journal of the American Dental Association [Internet]. 2017 Nov 1 [cited 2024 Jan 26];148(11, Supplement):S20–6. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002817717308115
  4. Young* C, Savarkar* S, Sankar J, Andrea FM. Efficacy study of whitening toothpaste containing lemon (citrus limon (L) and salt(Sodium carbonate). OJDOH [Internet]. 2019 Sep 20 [cited 2023 Mar 21];2(3):1–4. Available from: https://irispublishers.com/ojdoh/fulltext/efficacy-study-of-whitening-toothpaste-containing-lemon-citrus-limon-l-and-salt-sodium-carbonate.ID.000538.php
  5. DDS AC By Gary M Radz. Effectiveness of a combined in-office and take-home whitening system for teeth shades a3. 5 to a4 [Internet]. [cited 2023 Mar 21]. Available from: https://www.aegisdentalnetwork.com/cced/2014/10/effectiveness-of-a-combined-in-office-and-take-home-whitening-system-for-teeth-shades-a3.5-to-a4
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Mariam Nikolaishvili

Bachelor of medicine, Tbilisi State University, Georgia

I am Mariam Nikolaishvili, a sixth-year medical student. I decided to become a doctor when I was 5 years old, and I haven’t changed my mind since. Being a dermatologist and helping people with various skin conditions is my primary objective. I chose to participate in the Klarity internship because I have always loved to write and wanted to learn more about writing for the medical field.

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