Whilst having yellow teeth does not hurt, it is commonly associated with advancing age and unhealthy appearance. Apart from the fact that smile is the first thing that people notice about you, many are also quick to make a judgment of your personality based on the appearance of your teeth. Having a yellow smile may sometimes hinder you from making a good first impression.
Tooth stains can also negatively affect your self-confidence. If you have a noticeably yellow smile, you may sometimes feel embarrassed when smiling, talking, or laughing in public. This only makes it important to know what causes stains to linger on your teeth and what you can do to brighten the shade of your smile.
Tooth stains and discoloration
Dentists in London and other parts of England explain that most of the tooth stains people are worried about are extrinsic or external staining. This refers to the stains that occur on the outer surface of the tooth. Common causes include:
Poor dental hygiene – Not brushing or flossing properly can lead to the buildup of plaque or the sticky film of bacteria that forms and sticks on the teeth. This, along with tartar (hardened plaque), can make your pearly whites appear yellow and pave the way to other dental health issues like tooth decay or cavities.
Diet or food choices – Any food or drink that can stain your clothes can also do the same for your teeth. Dark coloured food and beverages such as berries, soda, tea, coffee, wine, red sauces, and sweets with colouring agents can easily stain your teeth. This is especially true if you consume these on a daily basis.
Lifestyle – Smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products can cause yellowish stains on the teeth over time. They can also increase your risk for gum disease, an infection of the gums that can compromise the bone structure that supports your teeth. Severe cases of this infection can lead to tooth loss.
Aging or every day wear and tear – Your teeth can start turning yellowish as a natural part of the aging process. The enamel (of the white protective coating on your teeth) can also fade over time due to daily wear and tear.
The yellow hue of your teeth can also be intrinsic or internal stains (within the tooth’s inner structure). This is often caused by the use of certain medications, trauma to the tooth, as well as fluoride of mineralization in water. Intrinsic stains do not respond to regular brushing and cleanings. A dentist can offer other solution or dental services to brighten the colour of the tooth.
Lifestyle changes and dental procedures can help
You can start with maintaining a good dental hygiene, which includes brushing at least twice a day (for two minutes each time) and flossing once a day. It is also best to limit your consumption of dark-coloured food and beverages or rinse your mouth with water after drinking or eating. You can also benefit from dental cleanings and professional whitening.
If you want to whiten your smile, you should only rely on a dentist-supervised procedure. Whilst whitening toothpaste can claim to whiten your teeth instantly, most of them are more effective in removing and prevent surface stains. They cannot dramatically change the colour of your teeth, which makes them ineffective for whitening a noticeably yellow smile or intrinsic staining.
Don’t let tooth stains hinder you from making a good first impression. See a dentist to today to learn more about your options in teeth whitening.