Sometimes people are reluctant to smile because their teeth are a far cry from pearly white. Yellow teeth affect people’s confidence. Fortunately, yellow teeth can be avoided by watching what you eat and drink and by improving the way you take care of your teeth. If you live in Utah, your Davis County dentist can help you formulate a plan to properly care for your dental health.
Lifestyle is the number one cause of yellow teeth. Drinking coffee and tea and smoking, and chewing tobacco can stain your teeth. Consuming other dark-colored food and drink, such as grapes, blueberries, red wine, or soda, can also stain your teeth. These items are high in pigment-producing substances called chromogens that tend to stick to the enamel of the teeth.
Consuming acidic food and beverages can exacerbate tooth discoloration as they erode the enamel, making it easy for chromogens to stick to the teeth. Tannin, found in wine and tea, also attracts chromogens.
Here’s a closer look at the most common causes of yellow teeth:
- Heredity – Tooth color could run in the family. If one of your parents has yellow teeth, there is a greater likelihood that your teeth could take on the same color.
- Thinning of the tooth enamel – As you get older, the enamel wears out, showing the dentin underneath, which is deep yellow to brownish in color. Thick enamel, which is typically white, blocks the dentin’s color.
- Smoking – Nicotine from tobacco leaves a yellowish or brownish stain on the tooth enamel, which is one more good reason to quit smoking.
- Food and drink – Dark-colored food and drinks can leave a stain on the teeth enamel. Even light-colored drinks, when artificially flavored, can stain the teeth.
- Antibiotics – If your mother took tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of her pregnancy or if you took that antibiotic before you reached the age of eight, you may have permanently yellow teeth.
- Fluorosis – Fluoride is good for your teeth, but when you use it in excess, it can cause your teeth to darken.
Proper brushing and professional dental cleaning can prevent yellow teeth. Preventive measures are better than going through teeth whitening treatments. Visit your dental hygienist at your Davis County family dentistry office for more advice on the best way to prevent yellow teeth.