Does it seem like no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to attain those pearly whites you see in the media? We may bring out the teeth-whitening toothpaste, mouthwashes, strips, gels, or chewing gum in order to obtain that glowing smile. Some of us may even take a trip to the dentist for in-office teeth whitening treatment options. Despite how badly we may want to fix discolored teeth, it’s a hard fact that tooth discoloration becomes normal as we age. While white teeth may deem more attractive, are they really a sign of healthier teeth? Are yellow teeth really all that bad? Let’s take a look.
Are Yellow Teeth Bad?
Why are my teeth yellow?
Yellow teeth have earned a bad reputation in our society, but is it for good reason? Believe it or not, teeth with an “off-white” color can actually be considered some of the healthiest and strongest teeth. We’re not exactly meant to have teeth as white as freshly fallen snow (although some of us may be more genetically inclined).
If your teeth have a slightly yellow hint, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have poor oral hygiene. However, the opposite can also be said. It’s entirely dependent on where the yellowing is coming from.
If you live a healthy lifestyle (meaning if you’re not consuming certain foods and beverages that are known to stain your teeth, you’re not smoking, and you’re not taking certain medications known to cause yellow teeth), then this may just be your natural tooth color. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
Enamel & Dentin
Before we continue, let’s quickly go over some brief anatomy of the tooth. To begin, the outside layer of the tooth is the enamel (which has a natural white/blue hue). It’s also a bit translucent. Below this layer is the dentin.
Dentin has a natural yellowish color and can typically be seen through the translucent layer of enamel in almost everyone. Although it varies from person to person depending on how translucent the enamel is, this is proof that a slight yellow tint is entirely caused by genetics (not bad hygiene).
However, if you’re noticing your teeth turning almost brown in color, it can indicate a deeper problem. You may want to schedule an appointment with your dentist to ensure there’s tooth decay is not the issue.
Lifestyle Factors & Prevention
As mentioned, genetics, age, habits, and lifestyle can all play a role in the health, thickness, and color of our teeth. Let’s go over what those oral health factors are and what we have control over. Some factors include:
- Teeth grinding
- Brushing with charcoal
- Lemon juice or baking soda
- Brushing too hard or with hard bristles
- Drinking liquids that are known to stain – Ex: Tea or Red Wine
- Eating high acidic foods
- Chewing or smoking tobacco
- Plaque buildup
- Tooth decay
If you fall under any of these categories, you have the option to change these habits by giving up certain foods or beverages, drinking more water, giving up smoking, brushing gently or with a soft brush, or buying a nightguard if you grind at night. If you’re concerned about the level of yellowing, these options may help.
How Do I Get Rid of My Yellow Teeth? What Can I Do?
All in all, yellow teeth don’t necessarily equal unhealthy or weakened teeth. It may just be the natural color of your dentin shining through. If you’re practicing good oral care such as avoiding smoking, brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing your mouth with mouthwash, regularly visiting your dentist, a healthy diet, adequate water intake, and limiting certain beverages, you should be a-okay. However, if you don’t like the color of your teeth even when you’re engaging in these practices, there are always options to improve them.
Removing Stains – In-Offiice Teeth Whitening Can Help!
First, you’ll want to discuss these options with your cosmetic dentist. They should be able to determine the right steps for you. Unfortunately, whitening can cause sensitivity, so if you’re already struggling with this, they may steer you in the other direction. If not, they may approve you to go ahead with it as it is the most effective treatment option for turning yellow teeth white again. Zoom Whitening >>
Be aware that most dental plans will not cover this expense. You’ll most likely be paying out of pocket. In conclusion, if your teeth continue to yellow with age, don’t panic. This is a natural human phenomenon and nothing to be too concerned with.
Additional Reading: The Most Common Dental Problems
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- complete exam and cleaning,
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- or anything in between
We promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and dental services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.
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- What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
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