All those years of coffee drinking at work or those cigarettes you smoked in college certainly play a role in the appearance of yellow teeth. While there are an assortment of factors that lead to the yellowing of teeth, it is important to remember that teeth will yellow simply because you are getting older. In order to prevent premature yellow teeth, consider some of the following prevention measures below.
What are Yellow Teeth?
While the natural wear and tear that accompanies getting older causes teeth to yellow, an assortment of additional factors can speed up the results. For starters, expect a less than pearly white smile when you consume staining beverages on a regular basis, such as coffee and tea; smoke tobacco products; or use food items like soy sauce. When it comes to yellow teeth, it is also important to point out that human teeth are naturally yellow from the beginning and deepen as time passes.
Yellow teeth surface when stains accumulate on the enamel of the tooth with food, drinks, and tobacco as the number one culprits. Those who drink large amounts of coffee or possess a smoking habit will always suffer stained teeth. Tea and soda drinkers are also susceptible. When eating, any piece of food has the potential to stain teeth, especially when improper brushing habits are followed.
In some cases, medications may also play a role in discolored teeth, such as antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline . Antipsychotic drugs and antihypertensive medications are also associated with teeth discoloration. Some mouth rinses and washes (containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride) can stain teeth as well.
In babies, yellowing of the teeth may take place when plaque is allowed to form, as well as with some antibiotics (like tetracycline); jaundice in newborns; excessive contact with fluoride; tooth injury; chronic illness; or a genetic issue regarding enamel formation .
Under the tooth enamel is a substance called dentin, which displays a naturally yellow tint. When tooth enamel wears away, the dentin becomes exposed. This is why teeth change colors the older we get. Additional reasons why yellow teeth appear include drinking water that contains too much fluoride, antihistamines, as well as various medical conditions.
The Negative Effects of Yellow Teeth
Yellow teeth are usually viewed as an eyesore. Instead of people paying attention to your face or the words you say in conversation, their eyes may scan the color of your teeth. This is why yellow teeth are often associated with embarrassment; low self-esteem; fear of opening the mouth; or being viewed as unclean or unsanitary. Sometimes, a person’s first reaction to yellow teeth is that an individual simply doesnâ€™t do a good job in brushing their teeth, when in actuality, it could be the constant contact of staining liquids and smoke causing problems. Usually, the worst of stained teeth is seen in the front of the mouth, where substances most often pass over the heaviest .
How to Prevent Yellow Teeth
In order to prevent yellow teeth from happening in the first place, it isnâ€™t necessary to forego eating and drinking all of the things that you enjoy. The over-the-counter market and your dentist provide a wealth of options for you to consider that vary in cost and effectiveness. A few to keep in mind include:
a) Adequate Brushing:
To prevent stained, yellow teeth â€“ make proper tooth brushing a habit. Regular brushing of the teeth will remove the food particles and leftover drinks that contain staining ingredients.
b) Limit Consumption of Staining Beverages:
The hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and Kool Aid you love to drink may cause yellowing of the teeth, especially seen with beverages of a brown color. If you cannot part with your daily dose of coffee in the morning or afternoon sip of tea â€“ make sure to brush afterwards to reduce the risk of staining teeth.
c) Whitening Toothpaste:
Today, the market is saturated with many different whitening toothpaste products that can uplift mildly stained teeth, as well as keep new stains from forming. Some of the main ingredients used in these kinds of toothpastes include baking soda, peroxide, peppermint oils, and ingredients that cause cleansing bubbles to form.
d) Whitening Mouthwash:
One of the easiest ways to prevent yellow teeth is to swish a whitening mouthwash in your mouth for a minute or so. Since the whitening ingredients contained in a mouth rinse is not long lasting, they are most effective in preventing current yellowing of the teeth.
e) Whitening Strips:
You’ve probably seen the commercials for whitening strips from manufacturers like Crest and Colgate. These types of products are simply placed on the teeth in strips (sometimes once or twice per day), which can remove current stains while preventing new ones. Generally, whitening strips cost between $20 and $50.
f) Paint-On Bleach Products:
To prevent yellow teeth, some people will use over-the-counter bleaching products that are applied using a brush. The product is spread across the teeth in hopes of preventing new stains from forming, while addressing mild issues. It is important to also weigh the pros and cons of this method, as some individuals have experienced side effects, such as gum pain and tooth sensitivity.