If you looked at a smile that was pearly white and one that was yellow, you’d probably guess that the set of white teeth were a lot healthier. Yellow teeth have earned quite a bad rap in our society, where the whiter the teeth, the better.
Everywhere you look, there are ads for teeth whitening to achieve that Hollywood status of pearly white. And every movie we watch is filled with blinding white-toothed celebrities. In fact, a 2016 survey revealed that crooked or yellow teeth would prevent a second date for two out of every three people, regardless of how well the date went.
But, although a white smile is more attractive today, it doesn’t always indicate healthier teeth.
How Enamel and Dentin Can Affect the Color of Our Teeth
Teeth have different layers. The enamel is the outside layer, a vital layer that protects your teeth. The enamel is solid and blueish-white in color and can appear somewhat translucent. The layer underneath the enamel is called dentin. Dentin is a firm tissue that is naturally yellow. If you look at the teeth and see a slight yellowish hue, it may mean the dentin’s color is showing through the enamel’s translucent layer. In this case, yellow teeth do not equal bad teeth; you see dentin.
Natural Teeth Aren’t Always White
Many people have off-whiteish/yellowish teeth naturally, and they are perfectly healthy. It is often just the natural state of the teeth, even with daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. It may have a lot to do with genetics. You can thank your parents for your yellow-prone teeth.
We all have different shades of teeth. Some fortunate individuals have naturally bright white teeth. But the majority do not. Teeth that are white as snow are usually the product of a lot of whitening efforts.
If you want a whitening treatment, schedule an appointment with your Utah dentist instead of opting for DIY treatments that may wreck the enamel or cause unnecessary sensitivity and pain. With professional teeth whitening, your dentist will focus on the appearance of your teeth and their health. Constant teeth whitening at home can cause the teeth to be weaker and increase sensitivity.
Sometimes Yellow is Bad
Not all yellow teeth are yellow because of the dentin showing through. They could be yellow due to inadequate oral hygiene or tobacco staining. Certain medications, foods, and beverages, along with aging, can cause teeth to be discolored or stained. Some foods that may cause staining include:
- Tomato sauce
- Soy sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Red wine
A handful of other foods don’t cause dark stains but have a high acidity that can wear away at the enamel of the teeth. As a result, your teeth may be less white and more prone to staining. Be cautious when consuming excess amounts of:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sports drinks
- Sugary foods
It’s best to consume the above substances in moderation, and when you consume them, rinse your mouth to prevent them from sitting on your teeth and staining or affecting the enamel.
Yellow teeth may also be a result of tartar buildup or plaque. If that’s the case, your teeth need some major TLC because they are not in prime condition. If you’ve been slacking off on your dentist visits, there’s no time like the present to start improving your dental health. You can pick up the phone, make an appointment, and get back on track. Your oral health is vital, and it’s all about forming good habits and sticking to them. With consistency, it is easy to maintain healthy teeth. A little bit of maintenance a day keeps the dentist away! (It’s OK…our feelings aren’t hurt.)
Safe Teeth Whitening Can Save the Day
Suppose you have yellowish or stained teeth and don’t know exactly why. Start by making an appointment with your dentist to see what is going on. We offer top-notch cosmetic dentistry in Utah, including teeth whitening treatments.
At Felt Family Dentistry, we focus on educating our patients, teaching about prevention, and explaining all options. If your teeth are healthy and you’d like some whiter and brighter teeth, we’ll go over our professional, safe, and effective teeth whitening treatments. They are easy, straightforward, and hassle-free. In the name of good dental hygiene, don’t forget to come for your routine cleanings twice a year. That will contribute to maintaining healthy and beautiful teeth.