Everyone wants to have a set of brilliantly white pearly whites. Alas, many of us have duller shades than we’d like to have. Here’s what causes tooth yellowing, and what you can do about it:
Common causes of tooth yellowing are…
Foods/drinks: Soda, coffee, tea, wines, and (believe it or not) apples and potatoes can stain your teeth.
Tobacco: Chewing tobacco, cigarettes and e-cigarettes
Poor dental hygiene: Poor brushing and flossing habits causes plaque buildup and high acid levels that eat away enamel
Disease: Chemo and radiotherapy both cause teeth discoloration.
Medication: Antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline both discolor teeth. Mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine stain teeth. Also antipsychotics, antihistamines, and high blood pressure medication.
Dental restoration: Believe it or not, dental restoration procedures like amalgam restorations and those containing silver sulphid give teeth a grey or black color.
Aging: As we age, the enamel on our teeth wears away and reveals the natural yellow color underneath. It’s an uphill battle, but following the advice below can help put off the inevitable.
Genetics: Unfortunately, some people are born with darker tooth enamel. Others are born with brighter enamel.
Environment: Fluoride, though it whitens teeth, can also cause discoloration.
Trauma: If you have had tooth trauma in the past, your teeth are more susceptible to yellowing.
Keep them white by…
Rinse mouth with warm water after eating high-citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits and after drinking lemonade or orange juice.
Eat raw fruits and vegetables. Cauliflower, raw carrots, and nuts help remove surface stains.
Brush your tongue. Besides improving the smell your breath, brushing your tongue will remove unwanted bacteria from your mouth.
Drink with a straw. This one seems to simple to be true, we know. When you’re drinking a high-sugar beverage, like a soda or energy drink, drinking with a straw can help keep the sugar away from your teeth altogether.