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Tips on How to Whiten Stained Teeth

Sometimes a perfect brushing and flossing routine doesn’t help improve stained or yellowed teeth. Teeth become yellow due to stains, both deep and surface level, as well as many other causes that aren’t under our control. No matter what is the cause of staining, there are many over-the-counter products or dental services that can improve tooth color.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

While drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes can cause stained teeth, did you know that thin tooth enamel can also make your teeth look yellow? Tooth enamel is the hard, white surface of your teeth. Underneath the enamel is a pale brown substance called dentin. Thick enamel on the tooth looks white, but thin enamel allows the dentin tones to show through, making the tooth appear yellow. As someone ages, the enamel naturally thins, but acidic foods and drinks such as lemons and soda also erode the enamel surface. Saliva neutralizes acid and washes it away, but those suffering from dry mouth miss out on this protective effect.

If you are concerned that you or your child suffers from dry mouth, consult with your doctor and always use fluoride products per your dentist’s advice.

Other Causes

Excessive fluoride intake or antibiotic use in young children can cause yellow-stained adult teeth later in life. However, according to most experts, antibiotics and high fluoride levels cause blotching rather than an overall yellow tone. For some people, yellow teeth simply run in the family.

Preventing Yellow Teeth

There are many different ways you can prevent yellowing teeth. Avoid smoking, drinking coffee and soda, or making sure you drink darker beverages through a straw. After eating or drinking something acidic, drink milk or water to reduce acid’s eroding effect. Brushing and flossing regularly can also help prevent erosion.

Whitening Yellow Teeth

There are many different ways you can lift yellow tones in your teeth by removing stains. Discolorations are usually responsive to bleaching procedures, and dentists can advise you on how to whiten yellow teeth depending on your unique case. Sometimes, a dentist will provide bleaching kits to take home and use over a period of time or will recommend in-office bleaching procedures. With children, wait until all of their permanent teeth have appeared before whitening to ensure all teeth are the same color.

With so many different and easy ways to whiten teeth, there’s no reason to hide a beautiful smile!