How to Protect Your Teeth

Off of Off-White? 3 Problems That Could Be Causing Yellow Teeth

If toothpaste commercials, red-carpet photos, and television shows have taught us anything, it's that everyone in the world can have perfectly white, shining teeth. But if your teeth are looking closer to yellow than white when you look in the mirror, you may have room to improve in one or more areas of your oral health. So if you're frustrated by your less-than-white teeth and want to know what's causing the problem, then here are a few areas of concern that you should know about.

It's Your Oral-Health Habits

When your teeth are yellowing, the first place to look for improvement is generally your oral health. You may think you're fine just brushing at night or brushing twice a day and leaving it at that, but more is required if you want to keep your pearly whites…well, pearly white. Make sure that you're brushing thoroughly for two minutes at least twice a day (three is better, four is overkill), and start flossing once a day. Once you've got those two habits down, add in a mouthwash that protects your enamel (and, if you can manage it, whitens your teeth) to really boost your oral health up to the next level.

It's Your Drinks

Dark colas, tea, coffee, red wine—if any of these (admittedly delicious) beverages make it into your meal plan daily, you may have found the reason for your premature yellowing. Apart from the cola, which can stain due to its caramel coloring (and, if you don't drink diet, its high sugar content), the rest of these beverages all have high levels of tannins. Tannins are little biomolecules that give the kick of bitterness to tea, coffee, and wine and can stain your teeth in the process. To get rid of this nasty effect, either cut down on your consumption of these drinks or commit to drinking water after each mug, cup, or glass in order to wash the tannins off your teeth before they can get up to any mischief.

It's Your Genes

But for some people, no matter how much you avoid tannins and brush and floss religiously, your teeth are just going to get yellow—and it's just a part of your DNA. There are a few conditions you might not know you have but that can lead to yellow teeth, such as dentinogenesis imperfecta or amelogenesis imperfecta. You may also just have naturally thinner enamel, which allows the eye to see the dentin (which is naturally a yellowish color) underneath more easily. Talking to a dentist, such as one from Wallington Dental, and to your family members is a good way to see whether your yellow teeth might be from your genes.