White No More: What Makes the Teeth Yellow?

It’s one of those things that make people envious of social media influencers: white teeth. Effortless super-ultra-white pearly whites. Of course, we all know that these A-listers have access to professional treatments we couldn’t afford. But, have you ever wondered why teeth don’t stay white? The worse thing is, they don’t just lose their brightness, they turn yellow. The truth of the matter is, it’s not just bad hygiene causing it. There’s a lot of factors taking away your teeth’s bright white. Here are some of them:

You drink coffee.

Unfortunately, your morning fix is far from a “fix” for your teeth. Coffee contains tannins, tiny compounds that stick to the teeth, which leave a residue of yellow color. If you think you’re off the hook because you’re not like your officemates who down three cups throughout the day, well, you’re wrong. You can have stained teeth even with just one cup a day. If you think you’re safer with other beverage alternatives, like tea, sorry, but you’re wrong again. In fact, tea is a worse discoloration-causing culprit than coffee.

Don’t worry, though. There are ways to reduce the effects of these drinks. One, brush your teeth half an hour after drinking. You don’t want to go in immediately after because the acids from your morning drink would weaken the enamel further. Two, commit to regular dental appointments. Your dentist should be able to perform cleaning and get rid of these stuff in those visits. Finally, if you’re only fond of iced coffee, use a straw to reduce direct contact with teeth.

You smoke.

Nicotine, like tannins, also make teeth discolored. This time, though, the stains could be a lot more difficult to get rid of. It seeps into the tiny ridges of the enamel. Of course, beyond the discoloration, smoking triggers a lot more serious oral health concerns, like for instance, gum disease, tooth loss, and cancer. But, if you’re more concerned about your appearance, then go ahead and quit to prevent the staining. From there, you can go for professional whitening from dentists. As stated by practitioners of cosmetic dentistry in Townsville, the treatment usually depends on different factors, including how severe the stains are and how often you want to treat the teeth. While you’re consulting with your dentist, do consider getting into their smoking cessation programs to reduce the chances of going back to your old habits.

You get so much fluoride.

Smile with part yellow teeth part white teeth

Fluoride is good for the teeth, but sometimes, you may have too much of a good thing. There’s fluoride everywhere, in your toothpaste, water, medications, and some food like rice, chicken, and fish (although in small amounts). If you consume too much of this mineral, you will notice some yellow or brownish-yellow stains on your teeth later on. Children who swallow toothpaste frequently are more vulnerable to such. Teach your kids to spit the toothpaste and store those tubes high up in your bathroom cabinets. Ask your dentist as well if you’re consuming too much fluoride in your diet or medicines.

It’s not just bad oral care habits turning those pearly whites into yellow. It could be because of other lifestyle factors. To know for sure what yours is, consult your dentist.

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