It’s no surprise that some people’s smiles are a tad duller than others. People with yellow teeth tend to feel self-conscious about their appearance, which may make them hesitant to smile. But what causes this yellowish tint? Well, several different factors can cause your teeth to turn yellow in color.
Common causes of tooth discoloration include:
Aging: The enamel starts fading as we grow older, exposing more of the dentin and causing yellow teeth.
Diet: Different types of foods and drinks can stain your teeth and cause them to turn yellow including certain fruits and vegetables, wine, tea, coffee, colas and sweets.
Tobacco use: Tobacco can stain your teeth if smoked or chewed on a regular basis.
Poor dental hygiene: In many cases, tooth discoloration results from poor oral hygiene, hence the importance of making sure you floss, brush and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Medications: Certain antibiotics can cause teeth discoloration when administered to children below the age of eight. High-blood pressure medications, antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants can stain your teeth as well.
Genetics: Because of their genes, some people have comparatively brighter or thicker enamel.
Environment: Exposure to excessive fluoride can lead to teeth discoloration.
How to prevent teeth yellowing
Simple lifestyle changes can help prevent teeth discoloration. For instance, cutting back or quitting habits like smoking and drinking coffee can minimize your chances of developing yellow teeth. Using a straw while drinking coffee/teas can also help discoloration. Practicing proper dental hygiene is also helpful.
But if your teeth are turning yellow without an apparent reason or you’ve noticed other symptoms, you should make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
Just like there are various causes of tooth discoloration, there are several different ways to whiten yellow teeth. Although do-it-yourself approaches are available, they are not recommended. Professional teeth whitening techniques are a lot safer and much more effective. When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the following treatment options can be applied to whiten yellow teeth:
Professional tooth whitening can be achieved in two ways. Medical-grade teeth whitening techniques involve a completely safe and supervised chemical process. We can perform an in-office tooth whitening procedure or provide you with a complete take-home whitening system.
Although in-office tooth whitening employs stronger agents than the take-home option, it’s still the preferred technique of the two. This is because it’s more effective in protecting the rest of the mouth from the materials used. Each of the professional-grade dental products used is completely safe and extremely effective. Advanced whitening systems feature customized mouthpiece trays to help ensure the correct amount of whitening agent reaches the teeth and a buffer in the gel that protects the tooth enamel against damage.
Professional grade whitening products are capable of brightening your teeth by 10 shades within an hour, so it’s both effective and convenient. As such, in-office whitening can transform the appearance of your teeth in just one office visit. Although some people find the take-home whitening approach more convenient, it can take more than 2-4 weeks depending on the strength of the agent used.
Keep in mind, continued exposure to the same substances responsible for staining your teeth can cause them to turn yellow again. Fortunately, teeth-whitening effects can last long with proper oral care. The duration will, however, depend on the level of care provided. You must continue practicing proper oral hygiene because teeth whitening products are not designed to clean teeth. Floss at least once a day, brush twice daily and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash every day.
Although veneers are usually made of porcelain, plastic options are not uncommon. When installed, these customized shells cover the front part of the teeth, improving the color and shape of your teeth. Dental veneers can help fix chipped, worn, slightly crooked, poorly shaped, improperly spaced and permanently stained teeth. Apart from being an effective solution to a variety of dental problems, veneers last much longer than bonding and provide much better results.
Prior to the insertion of veneers, Dr. Mishann will take an impression of your teeth first. But since porcelain veneers are formulated in the laboratory, you won’t have them inserted during your first visit. On your second appointment, the dentist will buff your teeth before cementing the veneers in place. Once installed, a beam of light will be used to help harden the cement, effectively securing the veneers to your teeth.
Overall, your teeth can start to take on a yellow tinge for a variety of reasons; anything from diet to age can affect your teeth color. Luckily, there are great ways to restore the white color to your teeth and brighten your smile, such as dental veneers or professional tooth whitening services.
If you’re in the NYC area and looking to explore options for restoring your smile, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment online. As a leading NYC dentist in this field, Dr. Mishaan is qualified to handle any concern related to tooth whitening treatments and solutions. You’ll be in good, professional hands, and your smile is sure to sparkle!