Yellow teeth don’t necessarily have any effect on your oral health, but many people would rather avoid them nonetheless. A shining smile makes a great impression and affords you confidence that can put everyone around you at ease.
However, getting a white smile is easier said than done. There are quite a few things that can yellow teeth if you aren’t careful; here are just a few of them, along with what you can do to prevent them from affecting your smile.
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
There are three things that can cause your teeth to become yellow. They are:
- Extrinsic Stains: These are stains that are just sitting on the surface of your teeth. These stains usually come from certain foods and drinks, like coffee, red wine, or tomato sauce.
- Intrinsic Stains: These are similar to extrinsic stains except that they’ve penetrated beneath the top layer of the enamel, settling there. A staining diet along with poor oral hygiene can potentially cause intrinsic stains to start building up. Smoking is also a massive contributor to this kind of discoloration.
- Age-Related Discoloration: As you get older, the white enamel on the surface of your teeth begins to thin, exposing the brownish dentin underneath. Even if you have immaculate oral hygiene, your teeth will get yellower with age for this reason.
How Do I Keep My Teeth White?
The first thing you can do is make a few lifestyle changes to avoid the buildup of extrinsic stains. That could mean a change in diet, or cutting back on smoking. It could also mean brushing twice a day with a whitening toothpaste.
Extrinsic stains are a little more stubborn, typically requiring professional whitening treatments to be eliminated. Your dentist can make use of a bleaching solution to penetrate deep into your enamel, melting away stains.
Finally, age-related stains aren’t necessarily due to the color of your enamel, so the best thing your dentist can do is cover them up. That can be done using one of a variety of cosmetic treatments, including dental bonding or veneers.
About the Author
Dr. Les Latner has been offering his patients high-quality, personalized dental care since 1985. All those years of teaching and practice haven’t diminished his love for his field one bit—if anything, it’s the opposite! Dr. Latner graduated from the Washington University School of Dental Medicine. He’s also one of only 10 dentists worldwide to earn accreditation from both the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
If you have any questions about yellow teeth, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (310) 765-7441.