Your smile says a lot about you and is a part of your personality, which is why most of us would like to create a good impression when we open our mouth and show our teeth as we talk and smile.
What you eat on a daily basis and how you look after your teeth all have a big say on how they look and there are numerous reasons why they might become discolored and look yellow rather than white.
You can use teeth whitening products to give your mouth a makeover and improved the color quickly, but you also need to understand why your teeth turn yellow in the first place and what you can do to avoid this happening in the future.
Here is a look at some of the prime suspects that can affect your teeth color and some pointers on how your eating and brushing habits can make a difference too.
If you are looking for the biggest culprit and the main reason why your teeth have become discolored the bad news is that you probably need to look in the mirror for the answer.
Your lifestyle will be a major contributory factor and if you are a smoker, drink coffee or tea regularly, like a glass of red wine, or drink cola, these are all major culprits in staining your teeth.
If you want a basic guide, anything that can stain your clothes is just as likely to stain your teeth.
Staining from within
When you are looking at yellow staining on your teeth the assumption will be that it is an external influence that has caused the damage but intrinsic stains are just as damaging.
Intrinsic stains take place within the inner structure of your teeth, which is known as the dentin, and they are notoriously difficult to remove.
What causes intrinsic staining?
Various medications, a number of common drugs, and even prescription-strength mouthwash are all known to cause staining. Ironically, too much fluoride, which is a regular ingredient in toothpaste, can affect your teeth color.
Your age is a factor
The simple fact of the matter is that age is an influential factor in darkening the color of your teeth and is part and parcel of the aging process.
What happens as you get older is the outer level of enamel on your teeth becomes thinner through wear and tear, creating a more yellow appearance.
One of the best natural solutions to fight against this happening is to ensure adequate saliva production, as this helps wash plaque and food from your teeth before they have a chance to cause lasting damage.
Suffering a fall or experiencing a sports injury can cause damage to your teeth on impact and this is a particular problem if it happens in childhood when your adult teeth are still developing.
Damage to the nerves or suffering a chipped tooth can both lead to discoloration.
Yellow teeth can run in the family
You can’t do much about genetics and it’s a simple fact that tooth color is a family trait, so look at your other family members and ancestors to spot an obvious common connection.
There are four natural shades of teeth other than white and you can’t influence what is handed down to you, although you can make some cosmetic changes to improve the shade.
Smoking is bad news
It is stating the obvious to say that smoking is bad for your health but it deserves special mention on its own as a very habit for your teeth color as well as your health in general.
Smoking will leave unsightly yellow and brown stains on your teeth over a period of time and it is the nicotine that is mainly responsible for this discoloration.
Do you grind your teeth?
There are a surprising number of us who grind our teeth and don’t even realize we are doing it.
Tooth grinding is often defined as an unconscious habit and it is sometimes referred to under the medical term of bruxism.
You might be grinding your teeth in your sleep, especially if you are stressed, and this is a habit that is harmful to your enamel and makes you more susceptible to staining.
An issue with antibiotics
It is possible that your mother might have taken antibiotics during pregnancy or you were given a course of them during your early years of childhood, before reaching your 8th birthday.
If either of these applies to you, it is known that tetracycline antibiotics can stain your teeth while they are developing on your gums.
A bleaching treatment now can help counteract the impact of antibiotics on your teeth in your early childhood.
Be careful with your drinks
If you are conscious of the causes of teeth discoloration you will probably already be mindful that drinking too much tea or coffee, and having a regular glass of red or wine is going to contribute to staining.
However, you should also be aware that both dark and light sodas are guilty of causing damage to your teeth color and sports drinks with artificial flavoring should also be considered as harmful to your enamel.
Ways to avoid yellow teeth
As already mentioned, you might be surprised to see fluoride mentioned as a culprit for making your teeth yellow, but you should liaise with your dentist about the right amount of fluoride intake.
It should be emphasized that fluoride is actually toxic and exposing your teeth to it is not healthy and could be responsible for creating unsightly yellow or brown spots known as fluorosis.
You can take positive steps to counteract the effects of your lifestyle and other factors that can influence the color of your teeth.
Regular brushing and professional cleaning are recommended as a must if you want to keep your teeth looking healthy and white, and prevention always has to be considered better than the cure, so try to change a few habits if you can in order to help maintain a healthy mouth and enjoy a great smile.