Teeth turning yellow is natural, but it can affect your smile. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple remedies you can try to protect your teeth from discolouration.
However, be careful when you experiment with these methods. Some home remedies have not been fully verified by science. Make it a habit to consult your dentist regarding any new technique so you can perform these whitening procedures withough compromising the health of your teeth.
Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?
There are several factors that turn your teeth yellow, which can be summed up into the following categories:
These are stains mainly caused by your lifestyle choices. They only affect the outer portion of the teeth or the enamel and can be removed quite easily. Causes of extrinsic stains include:
- Any coloured food and drink which contains tannins such as wine,
- coffee, and jam
- Acidic foods
- Heavy tobacco use
- High-calorie foods that cause teeth plaque
These are the type of stains that occur in the internal structure of the teeth or dentin. They are not easily removable and require the assistance of a professional since they may be brought about by other more serious dental conditions. Intrinsic stains may be the result of:
- Cancer therapy, such as chemotherapy
- Too much fluoride
- Dental fillings
- Tooth injury
- Antibiotics such as tetracycline or doxycycline
- Mouthwash used to treat gingivitis
How to Prevent Yellow Teeth
Various treatments have been developed over the years to prevent tooth discolouration and stains from setting in. While some have to be done by licensed professionals using precision instruments, a few treatments can be done in the comfort of your own home.
These treatments vary in terms of effectiveness, how long effects last, and cost. Additionally, it may take you a few tries to determine which method is suitable for your teeth. However, be careful when administering home remedies, follow package instructions and/or the advice of your dentist. If done incorrectly, these can do more harm than good.
Brushing Your Teeth Regularly
Good oral hygiene habits are probably the simplest and most common way to get rid of extrinsic stains. Brushing your teeth regularly removes plaque and bacteria, making it essential for your oral health. It is extremely effective in preventing teeth discolouration and a host of other problems including:
- Tooth decay
- Bad breath
- Plaque and tartar build-up
- Gum disease
Teeth brushing also works well with other whitening treatments and can even enhance them. In a study conducted last 2018, brushing your teeth twice a day will likely lead to whiter, healthier teeth.
Professional Teeth Whitening Services
Also called “in-office bleaching”, this is one of the most popular cosmetic dental services in the world and is commonly used by celebrities. The whitening treatment is a delicate process and requires a qualified dental professional to administer the treatment to avoid any injuries to the gums. It is done by applying a relatively high-concentration of peroxide gel on your teeth and letting it sit for around 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes, this needs to be reapplied several times for better results.
This service has several advantages which make it a highly recommended treatment:
- The procedure takes less than an hour.
- In addition to the aesthetic value, professional whitening helps clean bacteria and other harmful substances from your teeth.
- The effects of professional whitening last a long time; in some cases, up to 4 years.
Unlike regular kinds, whitening toothpaste contains low concentrations of active hydrogen peroxide, similar to the one used by professionals. Combined with other mild abrasives, such as sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, hydrated silica, this dental solution effectively removes stains from the enamel of the teeth.
For best results, it is recommended to use whitening toothpaste twice a day. Though results vary, they can be seen after 5 days of daily use.
Also known as an oral rinse or mouth bath, this liquid is usually used after brushing to rinse the teeth, gums and mouth. Mouthwashes contain antiseptic, which is effective in cleaning those areas of the mouth that cannot be cleaned by bruising such as the areas between the teeth, the tongue and the back of the mouth.
Whitening mouthwashes are slightly different from conventional antiseptic mouthwashes since they contain active teeth whitening ingredients like hydrogen peroxide. This is one of the more popular and effective at-home whitening methods, especially for people with sensitive teeth.
This is often considered as a less expensive at-home whitening option to In-office bleaching. Whitening strips are plastic strips that apply peroxide or bleach directly onto the teeth. After brushing, the strips are applied to your teeth and left on for about 30 minutes. This has to be done twice a day for about 2 to 3 weeks.
Whitening strips are more effective than other at-home whiteners that deliver quicker results than other methods. Moreover, whitening effects can last up to 4 months.
These are similar to whitening strips. Both contain peroxide and are applied directly onto the teeth. Bleaching trays are made of extremely flexible material that moulds and fits around your teeth gently and allows the whitening agent on the surface and the parts between your teeth.
Bleaching trays must be worn daily at around 35 to 45 minutes for best results.
Aside from causing other harmful diseases such as lung cancer, smoking can also cause your teeth to turn yellow. The tobacco inside cigarettes contains nicotine and tar which can stain teeth faster than other substances.
Aside from yellowing, tobacco can also cause these oral health problems:
- Halitosis or Bad Breath
- Gum disease
- Reduced blood supply to the mouth
- Increased build-up of plaque and tartar on your teeth
If you wish to keep your teeth white and healthy, avoid smoking at all costs.
Using Baking Soda
Using baking soda for whitening teeth is an age-old remedy that works. Since it’s basically sodium bicarbonate, a mild abrasive, it removes plaque and other stains from the teeth’s surface.
Baking soda needs to be mixed with other solutions or substances for better results. Here are some common combinations:
- Baking soda and toothpaste
- Baking soda and water
- Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda mixed with lemon or lime juice
- Baking soda mixed with apple cider vinegar
- Baking soda toothpaste with coconut oil
The effects can usually be felt after a few days; however, whitening results will probably take a couple more weeks. Aside from whitening, baking soda can also be used as a temporary treatment for the following:
- Canker or mouth sores.
- Bad breath
- Gum disease
Rinsing Your Mouth With Water After Eating Food or Beverages
As previously mentioned, some food and drinks with colouring can cause extrinsic stains on your tooth’s outer layer. The same goes for acidic ones as well because they can cause erosion of the enamel.
A straightforward solution for this is to rinse your mouth with water to prevent these coloured or acidic substances from clinging on to your teeth and slow down the rate of yellowing.
With the wide variety of both at-home and professional ways to prevent teeth from yellowing, there’s no reason for you to worry. Try them out and see which one suits you best; you have nothing to lose, except those yellow stains.
For professional teeth whitening services in the Ontario area, contact Cosmo Dental Centre at (519)659-2767. We’ll be happy to assist you.