Yellow Teeth: Causes and Prevention
There are several reasons for teeth turning yellow. The first step in choosing a tooth whitening treatment is to evaluate the causes of tooth discoloration to determine the effectiveness of a whitening product, and which ones will provide the best results. To receive expert advice on your personal situation, it’s often a good idea to get the opinion of your dentist, even if you later decide on using an at-home, do-it-yourself whitening kit.
Often, teeth turning yellow is just a natural part of getting older. Even if you brush and floss regularly, over the years, stains can seep past the thin white film protecting your teeth and into the enamel. Toothpastes can’t reach this far, so although your teeth may still be strong and healthy, they may not provide the brightest smile.
Foods and Beverages
Teeth also darken because of the foods and drinks we consume. Some of the worst on your teeth include soda, tobacco, coffee, tea and berries because of the “chromogenic” agents in these products.
If you have a single tooth that is dark due to a bumping accident or even a root canal, you’re probably suffering from an unhealthy nerve. In this case, you should get to the root of the problem and address the nerve and not simply try to whiten the outer film. Although whitening may temporarily whiten the outside, a tooth that sticks out like this deserves professional attention.
Before the age of eight, children’s tooth enamel is still forming and therefore vulnerable to yellowing agents that could linger in their adult years. If children are given too much tetracycline (in an antibiotic for colds), their teeth can acquire a yellow-brown to gray-blue stain. Secondly, if children ingest a lot of fluoride (e.g. from swallowing toothpaste) they can get fluorosis, which causes chalky-white patches or lines on the teeth. Some dentists believe that children under 5 swallow nearly all of their toothpaste – so measure your child’s dose sparingly. Note that pregnant women should avoid these chemicals, as well, due to the effects on the embryo.