In this article we discuss the causes of yellow teeth - from sugary snacks to smoking. We also discuss how to keep your teeth white.
Yellow teeth can get in the way of having a picture-perfect smile. But have you ever wondered exactly why your teeth turn yellow? Keeping your smile flawless and white is simple once you’ve got all the facts. So read on to learn more about the causes of yellow teeth and how to keep them at bay.
What causes yellow teeth?
Whilst food and drink can stain your teeth over time, the most direct cause of yellow teeth is thinning tooth enamel. Enamel is the hard, white stuff that makes up the surface of your teeth. Beneath that surface is a substance called dentin, which is actually a pale brownish colour.
Enamel loss and yellow teeth
When your enamel starts to lose its thickness, the dentine beneath is becomes much more visible, leaving you with teeth that appear yellow. Most people’s enamel gets thinner as they age, but acids from food and drink can cause enamel to erode prematurely and make your teeth look yellow.
Yellow teeth and tobacco
Bad habits like smoking also have adverse effect on the colour of your teeth. Cigarettes and tobacco contain tar and nicotine, which stain the teeth and can lead to a build-up of plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar target the gums and damages other parts of your mouth, potentially causing tooth loss and even gum disease. The most common sign of tartar build up is a yellowish or brown colour left on the teeth and gums.
Yellow teeth and food stains
Dark-coloured food and drink can also discolour the surface of your teeth. Stain-causing foods include:
- Red wine
- Dark berries like blueberries and blackberries
Thankfully, these stains can be removed with a regular brushing and flossing routine.
How do you prevent yellow teeth?
You can prevent yellow teeth by avoiding sugary snacks and acidic drinks like soda and wine. The acids from these foods can erode your enamel, but drinking milk or plain water after eating can help counteract the effects. Another way of preventing yellow teeth is to limit how much you snack in between meals. Doing so allows your saliva to naturally dilute some of the acids in your mouth.
The best way to prevent or get rid of yellow teeth is to brush twice a day with good toothpaste. Now that you know what causes yellow teeth, keeping your teeth clean should be much easier. Just remember to pay attention to what you eat, cut out bad habits and brush twice a day.