Help! My Teeth are Yellow

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. If your teeth are yellowed or dingy, it can leave a pretty unfavorable impression on friends, coworkers, and acquaintances.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to whiten a dingy, stained smile. The key is knowing what’s causing your tooth discoloration — and how to treat it.

At The Glen Dental, Aman Bhullar, DMD, and Donald Pepper, DDS, offer state-of-the-art whitening treatments to help patients at their San Jose, California, practice enjoy beautiful, healthy-looking smiles. If your teeth aren’t as white as you’d like, here’s how our cosmetic dentistry treatments can help you.

Here’s why your teeth are yellow

Yellowed, stained teeth aren’t uncommon. Most stains affect the tough outer layer of enamel — the layer that gives teeth that pearly white appearance. Other stains affect the deeper layer of cream-colored dentin

Getting to the root cause of your discoloration problems is the first step in choosing the right treatment. Lots of factors can cause teeth stains, including those listed below.

Smoking

Whether you smoke it or chew it, tobacco is going to stain your teeth. What’s more, tobacco use increases your risk of gum disease. That means that kicking just this one habit can improve your smile’s aesthetics, as well as reducing your risk of infection and tooth loss.

Foods high in acids

Acidic foods and drinks don’t necessarily cause stains, but they do temporarily soften your enamel — for about a half an hour after consuming them. When your enamel is soft, it’s easier for stains from other foods to penetrate. 

Foods with dark pigments

Deeply-colored foods like berries, blackberries, or beets, and foods with added natural or artificial colors can leave staining residues on your teeth. So can many spices, like turmeric or dried mustard, along with coffee, tea, and red wine.

Medications

Some really common medicines, like certain antibiotics, blood pressure medicines, and allergy medicines, can cause tooth discoloration, especially when used regularly. Surprisingly, even some mouthwashes contain chemicals that can leave brownish stains on your teeth.

Poor oral hygiene

Brushing and flossing are important for preventing cavities and gum disease, and they’re also good for getting rid of plaque film that traps staining pigments. If you’re slacking off on these two important habits, your teeth can wind up looking dingy pretty quickly.

Wear and tear

It’s your tooth enamel that makes your teeth look white and bright. As you get older, your enamel thins, allowing more of the yellower dentin to show through. Less enamel also means your teeth can be more prone to the other stain-causing items on this list.

Restoring your pearly whites

Keeping your teeth looking their best isn’t difficult, but it does take a little time and effort.

Rinse after eating and drinking

A thorough swish with warm (or cool) water after eating and drinking helps remove staining pigments and food particles. Brushing is okay as long as you wait about 30-60 minutes after eating and drinking.

Floss and brush

Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and a toothpaste containing fluoride. Floss at least once to remove sticky plaque that can trap penetrating pigments.

Have regular cleanings

Twice-yearly professional cleanings use special tools and techniques to remove plaque and tartar in areas where your brush just can’t reach. The hygienist finishes your cleaning with a high-speed polisher and mild abrasives to remove many superficial stains.

Schedule professional whitening

For the greatest effect, nothing beats a professional teeth whitening treatment. Our team uses professional-strength whitening agents to remove years of stains in just one visit. 

Consider veneers

Some types of yellowing and staining are caused by problems in the interior portions of your teeth. For these stains, veneers can be an ideal solution, restoring your smile so it’s naturally beautiful.

Don’t let yellowed, stained teeth take a toll on your self-confidence. Call The Glen Dental or book an appointment online to learn how we can help you get a dazzling smile.

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