October 2nd, 2014
Yellow teeth are an unsightly issue that many of us would love to avoid. Beside the aesthetic reasons for wanting pearly white teeth, there are also health issues that coincide with having whiter teeth.
Your teeth are white thanks to a protective outer layer known as enamel. It protects your teeth from acid and bacteria, but when your teeth are improperly cared for, those acids can break down your enamel and make it translucent. Underneath your enamel is another layer known as dentin. While enamel may be white, dentin is naturally a yellow tone. When your enamel becomes translucent, you are exposing the colors of your dentin to the world.
The older you get, the more your enamel can be naturally worn down. This may be why your teeth are yellowing. However, if you’re still young and are experiencing yellowing of the teeth, it’s most likely caused by foods and liquids that are known to break down your enamel as well as stain your teeth, or by cigarettes. Some foods and drinks contain colored compounds that are able to adhere to your enamel surface and darken the color of your teeth. Here are five of the most common causes of yellow teeth.
Soda and ‘Sports Drinks'
Both the citric acids and the high amounts of sugar in colas, soft drinks, and so-called sports drinks wear down the layer of enamel on your teeth.
Cola is the worst culprit, with its ammonia-based caramel coloring that not only wears down your enamel, but can discolor your teeth as well. Even so, lighter colored soft drinks are just as harmful to your enamel. All of these kinds of liquids are best avoided or limited.
Hard Candy and Gummy Candy
These treats are loaded with acidic sugars that can easily breakdown the enamel on your teeth. What’s worst about these candies is that they stay in your mouth for an extended period of time, which allows the sugars to really do their worst.
Many of these candies can stain your teeth as well. In regards to candy you should avoid, a general rule is that if it can stain your tongue, it can probably stain your teeth.
While a glass of red wine can be a healthier choice than soft drinks, too much wine can break down enamel as well as stain your teeth. Red wine has very deep red colors, which are caused by the compounds polyphenols and tannins. These compounds are very good at staining teeth.
We all love our morning coffee, and many of us can’t start a day without it. However, think twice about drinking coffee and leaving the house without brushing your teeth, as this acidic liquid can do a lot of damage to your teeth. The dark color is prime for staining teeth while the acidic attributes can hurt your enamel.
A big culprit for yellowing teeth is the nicotine in cigarettes. Smoking has no health benefits, yet can very negatively impact the state of your teeth and other body parts. This is one to avoid altogether.
Of course, the best way to keep your teeth as white as possible is to avoiding these foods and drinks as much as possible, as well as cigarettes. When you do consume them, trying having a glass of water along with the food or drink to wash away any of the acids. Also, after consuming any of these foods or drinks, brushing your teeth will help keep the stains from setting as well as remove the acids that are trying to eat away at your enamel.
For more help with your yellowing teeth, contact Water Tower Dental. We can help guide you through best practices or offer our Zoom! Whitening process to bring your teeth back to the pearly white you love.