Our smile is one of the first things people notice about us, which is why many pay close attention to the appearance and health of their teeth. Over time, the teeth can become discoloured due to certain factors.
Why Teeth Turn Yellow
The tooth enamel is naturally white when it is at its thickest. Over time, the surface of the enamel diminishes due to poor oral hygiene. Teeth become translucent and the next layer of the tooth known as dentin starts to show. The dentin has a natural yellowish tone so when the enamel becomes thinner, your teeth become more yellowish. While it is disheartening to lose our bright and white smile, it becomes all the more important to learn the common causes of yellow teeth and how you can avoid or limit your exposure to these factors.
Old Age – Over time, the white protective coating of our teeth wears down as part of the natural aging process. The older your teeth, the more likely they are to become discoloured.
Cigarette Smoking – Just like your teeth, the teeth have pores that can absorb the nicotine and tar, causing tooth discolouration. Although nicotine is naturally clear, it turns to yellow when it is combined with oxygen.
Soda – The phosphoric and citric acid present in soda can wear down the surface of the enamel. Over time, the teeth absorb the acid, discolouring or staining it. The high level of sugar found in soda can also damage the teeth by making the bacteria produce more acid and increase the risk of tooth erosion.
Fluorosis – Although the fluoride is beneficial for our teeth, using excessive fluoride can cause fluorosis, a condition that is characterised by yellow or brownish spots on the teeth.
Things You Can Do About It
Don’t Brush Immediately after Eating – Although it may be tempting to brush your teeth after a meal, experts recommend waiting for at least 30 minutes to an hour since the tooth enamel becomes softer after eating. Brushing right away can wear away the enamel.
Drink Water – Drinking big sips of water after each meal is a great way to wash away the acids, food particles, and staining compounds. This simple solution can drastically help in the prevention of tooth erosion due to acid-producing bacteria.
Good Dental Hygiene – Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing after each meal prevents plaque from building up on the surface or in-between your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque produce acid that eats away the enamel layer.
Teeth Whitening – There are many dentists that offer teeth whitening services with dramatic results. While there are a variety of techniques available, make sure to talk to your dentist to determine the right option for your dental problem.