Yellow Teeth: Causes and How to Whiten Them
When routine dental hygiene is no longer enough to keep your teeth from yellowing, or if they have become yellow with time, you may be thinking about teeth whitening.
Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic treatment, and a variety of studies have shown that whiter teeth are associated with more social, work, and romantic success.
At Captivate Dental, we are here to help you get your teeth whiter, and do it safely, quickly, and economically. Let’s take a look at why your teeth might be yellow, and what you can do about it.
Why Do Teeth Become Yellow?
Your teeth can become discoloured on the surface or by changes in the tooth material. Dentists divide discolouration into three main categories:
Extrinsic discolouration — This occurs when wine, cola, coffee, or other drinks or foods, stain teeth. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.
Intrinsic discolouration — In intrinsic discolouration dentin darkens or yellows due to:
- fluoride exposure at a young age
- maternal use of tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy
- the use of tetracycline antibiotics in children under eight years old
Age-related discolouration — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. In addition to stains caused by foods, beverages, or smoking, the dentin naturally yellows over time.
The enamel gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Enamel wears thin as people age, and this is natural.
Still, erosion can be hastened by but acids from drinks and foods including sour candies, oranges, sodas, and even some chewable vitamins.
Cracks or other injuries to a tooth can also cause discolouration.
A final cause can be dry mouth. Saliva neutralises acid and washes it away, but people with dry mouth miss out on this protective effect.
For example, those who breathe through their mouths can prevent saliva from remoisturising the mouth when it’s closed.
For children, this creates the risk of thin tooth enamel, and for adults is creates a better environment for bacteria to take hold.
There are several home remedies for tooth-whitening, most of which are unproven and many of which are dangerous.
Professional, dental whitening is always the safest and most effective way to go, but here are some approaches that some people swear by.
Brushing with baking soda
Baking soda is a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste because its mild abrasiveness can wear surface stains away.
Baking soda also gives the mouth an alkaline environment, which retards bacteria growth. However, that alkaline environment itself is a threat to teeth, as is the danger of enamel abrasion.
In general, this is an unsafe approach to whitening.
Apple cider vinegar
This traditional remedy has been used for hundreds of years as a natural cleaner and disinfectant. The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, kills bacteria.
A study on cows showed that apple cider vinegar did bleach their teeth; however, as with all acids, it can have a destructive effect on your enamel. It should never be used every day if it is used at all.
Other unproven folk remedies include:
- Fruit peel rubs. Rubbing lemon, orange, or banana peels on teeth is alleged to make them whiter
- Kaolin clay.
- Activated charcoal. Brushing with powdered charcoal allegedly removes toxins from the mouth and stains from teeth.
But none of these techniques is as safe and effective as whitening options through Captivate Dental.
Your Moorabbin Dentist‘s Tips
Our tips are simple, brush and floss your teeth regularly, visit Captivate Dental as recommended, and if you need to whiten your teeth, come to us for professional-grade, quick, effective, and safe whitening.
Complete dental care in Moorabbin!
Captivate Dental is conveniently located in Moorabbin near Brighton (near Kingston City Hall and Moorabbin Station).
We provide the highest quality care and enable patients to make informed choices.
Our competent, caring staff provides value through excellent diagnostic skills and effective use of the best quality materials.
Captivate Dental offers a wide variety of preventative and cosmetic dental treatment for kids, seniors, and everyone between!
We are located at 46 Station Street in Moorabbin.