There’s no question that having whiter teeth can improve your smile and appearance. Of course, maintaining pearly white teeth isn’t all that easy. Our teeth have a tendency to turn yellow over time. There are two main reasons why your teeth darken as time goes by:
(1) Your teeth develop deep stains which makes them appear yellower
(2) Your teeth lose their outer protective layer, known as enamel, which exposes the darker underlying layer and makes them appear yellow
Let’s look at a few common reasons why teeth change color and turn yellow:
Plaque & tartar
Tour teeth may simply look darker because they buildup too much plaque and stains. A simple dental cleaning removes these buildups and instantaneously gives you a whiter and brighter smile.
Nicotine, cigarette tar, and other tobacco products stain teeth and turn them yellow. This explains why most long-term smokers have darker and yellower teeth.
Certain foods & drinks
There are many food additives that stain your teeth. For instance, regularly drinking coffee or tea stains and darkens your teeth. Red wine, colas, fruit juices, berries, and most spices also contain additives that stain teeth and they cause your teeth to turn yellow with repeated consumption.
Exposure to acids
It’s no surprise that acid destroys your tooth enamel. Losing your enamel layer exposes the underlying tooth structure which results in permanently yellower teeth. So what causes acid damage to teeth? Carbonated sodas and juices, especially lemon juice, contain acids that damage your enamel. If you can’t kick your soda habit, then be sure to brush your teeth frequently. Drinking plenty of water also helps wash away the acid buildup from your teeth surfaces and protects against acid damage. Acids are also found in your stomach fluids, which are very corrosive and wears out tooth enamel rapidly. Frequent regurgitation, as evidenced in bulimics or those suffering from acid reflux, destroys your protective enamel layer and turns teeth yellow. Again, be sure to brush your teeth very thoroughly so that your teeth are not exposed to these acids for prolonged time periods.
As we get older we lose some of our protective tooth enamel layer. This makes your teeth appear yellower as if they have lost their youthful appearance.
Grinding not only damages your teeth, but it also causes them to change color and turn darker. Heavy grinders wear away their tooth enamel over time, which causes teeth to appear yellower and darker.
How do I reverse yellow teeth?
You need to figure out why your teeth have turned yellow before worrying about whitening your teeth. If your yellow teeth are the result of internal stains, then it’s easy to reverse this effect with a professional tooth whitening treatment. However, if your teeth are yellower due to damage or loss of your enamel layer, then they are not likely to respond well to teeth whitening treatments. Let’s explore which cases are good candidates for teeth whitening treatment and which ones tend not to respond as well:
Excessive dental work in your mouth
Teeth whitening products change the color of your teeth by breaking down internal stains. However, they do not alter the color of your dental restorations, such as dental fillings, bondings, or crowns. If you have lots of existing dental work in your mouth, especially if they are located in the front, you should always consult with your dentist prior to starting a tooth whitening regimen. Otherwise, you could end up with an unsightly mismatch between your natural teeth and existing dental restorations!
Loss of your tooth enamel layer
Teeth whitening treatments aren’t effective if your teeth have turned yellow due to the loss of the protective enamel layer. This usually happens due to prolonged exposures to acidic products, teeth grinding, or simply a result of aging. These cases are not suitable for teeth whitening treatment, instead, they are better candidates for cosmetic dentistry procedures such as dental bonding and porcelain veneers.
Teeth covered with plaque and stains
There’s a chance your teeth look yellow because they are covered with plaque and stains. A professional dental cleaning can remove these stains from your teeth to significantly whiten your smile. Be sure to improve your brushing and flossing habits to maintain your new smile over time.
Am I a good candidate for professional teeth whitening?
If your teeth have turned yellow due to smoking, coffee, tea, red wine, etc. then you’re a great candidate for professional teeth whitening. The bleaching gel penetrates your teeth, breaks down internal stains, and significantly whitens and brightens your smile. Yellow teeth which results from grinding, acid damage, or aging is not a good candidate for professional teeth whitening. To learn more your teeth whitening options, and to see what is the best treatment for your smile, consult with a local dentist nearby. Click on the link below to use our dentist Search Engine to find a great dentist near you to get started with your whiter & brighter smile today: