What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Most causes of teeth yellowing are either extrinsic or intrinsic staining.
Extrinsic staining affects the surface of the tooth, and these stains can be removed professionally and at home. They are typically caused by lifestyle choice such as smoking or drinking coffee.
Tar and nicotine are chemicals found in tobacco that cause the teeth to yellow. Beverages such as soda, coffee, and red wine, foods like soy and spaghetti sauce and even dark berries can stick to tooth enamel, giving teeth a yellow hue.
Poor oral hygiene can also cause discolouration of your teeth due to plaque build-up.
Intrinsic stains occur within the tooth’s inner structure and are more difficult to remove. Your dentist can help you address intrinsic stains. Causes include taking antibiotics before age eight, undergoing chemotherapy, using prescription-strength mouthwash and even certain medications such as antihistamines.
Using Teeth Whitening Treatments
Teeth whitening is a popular and affordable cosmetic dental procedure that can produce immediate and dramatic results. Even some at-home treatments can effectively whiten your teeth. We’ve listed a few of our favourites here.
Get a professional cleaning
A professional cleaning by a dental hygienist can remove built-up stains caused by tea, coffee, and wine, dark coloured foods or from using tobacco products. The result is a freshly polished smile and whiter, brighter teeth.
Get a laser treatment
Getting a laser treatment can be a quick and effective way to get whiter teeth, and is performed in a dentist’s office.
A bleach based gel is applied to your teeth and a rubber shield is used to protect your gums. The dentist uses a white light or laser on your teeth to activate the bleaching gel. Each session typically lasts for 30 to 90 minutes. Expect to schedule three to six sessions, depending on the results you hope to achieve.
Using Teeth Whitening Products
Use whitening toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste works to remove surface stains from your teeth, but only if used twice a day for several weeks. Abrasive particles in whitening toothpaste polish teeth by removing stains without damaging tooth enamel. But if you brush too roughly or too often it can remove tooth enamel exposing the yellow dentin underneath.
Use whitening strips
Whitening strips are coated with a special bleaching gel that helps teeth to look whiter and brighter. Apply one strip to your top arch of teeth and another to your bottom arch. Some strips dissolve on their own while others need to be removed manually after 30 minutes.
Avoid strips containing chlorine dioxide because this damages the enamel on your teeth.
You should see a visible difference in your smile in 5-7 days.
Use a whitening pen
Whitening pens contain a gel with peroxide which bleaches teeth, making them whiter. Simply brush each tooth with the pen’s brush and keep your mouth open for 30 seconds for the gel to dry. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes afterward.
Use a whitening tray
Whitening trays can be custom-made by your dentist or bought over-the-counter for a ‘one size fits all’ option. The kit comes with a concentrated peroxide gel to bleach your teeth. Simply place a small amount of the gel into the tray and fit the tray over your teeth. Depending on the product and the concentration of the gel, whitening trays are worn for as little as 30 minutes or even overnight.
Using Home Remedies
Use baking soda
Baking soda is a popular ingredient in toothpaste because it has natural whitening properties. It’s a mild abrasive that can help buff away surface stains on your teeth. Brush your teeth with a paste of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of water for great results.
Use hydrogen peroxide
As a natural bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide also kills bacteria in your mouth. Mix it with baking soda to form a teeth whitening paste using 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Overuse of hydrogen peroxide can erode your tooth enamel, so limit its use to only a few times per week.
Strawberries contain folic acid which aids in cleaning and exfoliating teeth to make them whiter. You can puree strawberries and add baking soda to create a natural whitening toothpaste.
Apple cider vinegar
Create an all-natural mouthwash using two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and six ounces of water. This mixture has a bleaching effect which whitens teeth. However, this mixture should be used with caution because the acetic acid in the vinegar can erode tooth enamel.
Before starting any teeth whitening treatment, it is essential to see your dentist to have your teeth and gums evaluated. Bleaching agents will not work on damaged or infected teeth or those with restorations.
If you are considering teeth whitening in Southampton, don’t be afraid to discuss your concerns with your dentist. They can create a treatment plan that caters to your unique situation and help you achieve a smile you can be proud of.