I’m often asked, “Why are my teeth yellow?”

So here’s my 5-minute take.

Having yellow teeth can affect one’s self-confidence and overall appearance. Yellowing of teeth is a common dental concern, and various factors, including aging, lifestyle choices, and oral health habits, can cause it. This overview hopefully explains things a little providing an overview of the causes, treatments, and solutions for yellow teeth, focusing on their relevance to dentistry and tips for teeth whitening.

Causes of Yellow Teeth:

  1. Ageing: As we age, the enamel on our teeth naturally thins, revealing the yellowish dentin layer beneath.
  2. Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can cause teeth to appear yellow.
  3. Tobacco Use: Smoking or chewing tobacco stains teeth due to the nicotine and tar in these products.
  4. Food and Drinks: Consuming dark-coloured foods and beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and certain spices can stain the teeth over time.
  5. Medications: Certain medications, such as tetracycline antibiotics, can cause intrinsic stains that appear yellow or grey.

Treatments and Solutions:

  1. Professional Teeth Whitening: Dentists can perform in-office teeth whitening procedures using bleaching agents to remove stains and brighten the teeth. This is an effective and quick solution for achieving noticeable results.
  2. At-Home Whitening Kits: Over-the-counter whitening kits with lower concentrations of bleaching agents can be used at home, although they may not be as effective as professional treatments. In the Uk, the percentages are limited if you can buy from the US, their products are much better Crest Whitening Strips amazing
  3. Dental Veneers: For severe discolouration that cannot be resolved through whitening alone, dental veneers can be placed on the front surface of the teeth to improve their appearance.
  4. Composite Bonding: This procedure involves applying a tooth-coloured resin to the teeth to cover stains and improve their colour. Its a semi-permanent solution and can chip and stain – maintenance is essential
  5. Proper Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing at least twice daily, flossing daily, and regular dental cleanings, can prevent yellowing caused by plaque and tartar buildup.
  6. Avoid Tobacco Use: Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco can help prevent further staining and improve oral health.
  7. Dietary Modifications: Limiting the consumption of stained food and drinks, or rinsing the mouth with water after consuming them, can reduce the risk of yellowing.

Top Tips/Hacks for Teeth Whitening:

  1. Brush with Whitening Toothpaste: Using a toothpaste formulated to remove stains and whiten teeth can help gradually reduce yellowing. We love to ENLIGHTEN WHITENING TOOTHPASTE and COLGATES NEW RANGE
  2. Oil Pulling: Swishing coconut or sesame oil in the mouth for 10-15 minutes daily is believed to remove toxins and improve oral health, potentially reducing teeth discolouration. I have patients that swear by it, and I think I can see the results
  3. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide: A paste made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can be applied to the teeth for a few minutes before rinsing. This may help lighten stains but should be used sparingly to avoid enamel damage.
  4. Activated Charcoal: Brushing with activated charcoal powder can help absorb surface stains and whiten teeth. However, it should not be used too frequently as it may erode enamel.
  5. Whitening Strips: Over-the-counter whitening strips can be applied to the teeth for a specific duration to whiten them gradually. Follow the instructions carefully. CHECK THE percentage

The colour of natural teeth during human development is primarily determined by the enamel’s thickness and translucency and the dentin layer’s colour beneath it.

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