Help! Maybe you let out a small gasp or just panicked a little internally. When, exactly, did your teeth start to look so yellow and faded? Although it takes years for teeth to take on a yellow hue, you may not have noticed this slow process taking place. You see your teeth every day and probably didn’t notice the slight discoloration occurring.
Thankfully, yellow teeth aren’t forever. Not only can your teeth be whitened, but you can also adopt habits that keep them looking good. Use this blog to learn about why teeth become yellow, how you can fix them, and what you can do to prevent future discoloration.
For high-quality dental care in a caring, gentle environment, come see the team at Juan M Carrillo, DMD in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Carrillo and the rest of our staff look to give every patient “dentistry with integrity and genuine care.” Our practice extends from pediatric to geriatric patients, and we provide the best dental care for everyone’s long-term oral health.
Food and drink
When it comes to yellow teeth, you are what you eat. Food and drink can generally be divided into two groups in this case. First are the foods that stain your teeth. If you eat a lot of berries, tomatoes, curry, chocolate, or other highly pigmented foods, your teeth may become stained. The same goes for dark drinks like cola, coffee, and red wine.
The other group is foods that invite discoloration. Acidic foods wear away enamel and make it easier for pigment to get attached to your teeth. Tannin, a compound found in red wine and tea, has the same effect. Drinks and foods that are high in sugar welcome bacteria that can discolor teeth.
Food and drinks aren’t the only thing that can lead to yellow teeth. Other potential causes include:
- Excessive fluoride
- Poor hygiene
Smoking is also a major cause of teeth yellowing, as all tobacco products can stain your teeth with extended use.
A few easy tricks can prevent many of the causes discussed above. It should be noted, however, that normal wear and tear will eventually dull the shine from even teeth receiving the best care. If you choose to consume staining beverages, think about using a straw, which bypasses most of your teeth. For staining foods, make sure you brush or rinse after eating. And most of all, practice good hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss at least once daily, and rinse with mouthwash at least once a day.
Dr. Carrillo offers two types of whitening treatments: at-home kits and in-office procedures. The main difference between the two is timing. During an in-office visit, Dr. Carrillo is able to use stronger bleaching agents. This means you can accomplish a full whitening in a couple of 30- to 60-minute sessions or a longer two-hour visit. At-home kits come in the form of a strip, gel, or tray shaped like a mouthguard that you wear from a few minutes to several hours. They use weaker bleaching agents and thus can take a few weeks for best results.
Don’t let yellow teeth get you down. Dr. Carrillo is here to help. Contact our office today.