The whole piano key colored teeth fiasco has been going on for years.
When you meet someone for the first time, their smile is one of the first things you notice, so having beautifully white teeth to complement a warm and friendly smile is an asset. However, many of us feel uncomfortable breaking out a big toothy grin due to the embarrassment of revealing stained or discolored teeth.
Many people strive hard to achieve their goal of pearly white teeth, while some ask, are yellow teeth are healthy?
There is so much demand for whitening toothpaste in the market that almost every aisle of toothpaste section is filled with whitening toothpaste and toothpaste making companies focus more on their advertising and branding as compared to regular toothpaste.
But what if I tell you the so very widely glorified pearly white teeth is not the actual color of the teeth. What if I tell you that maybe your yellow teeth are not so unhealthy and “dirty” Afterall?
The myth of yellow teeth is unhealthy is completely wrong.
Some people may have teeth that appear to be whiter than some other teeth but that does not necessarily mean that your yellow teeth are unhygienic.
Sure, the gleaming white teeth might look more attractive but that definitely does not mean they are in any better condition than yours!
So, allow me to take you through step by step so you may be able to determine if your teeth are healthy or unhealthy
What gives teeth their color?
Enamel is on the surface of every tooth. It has a natural hue of white.
However, do not be so quick to judge! Because right under the enamel is the dentin layer that is slightly yellow in color.
The yellow hue shows through the enamel, hence giving them a yellow color!
For some people, the yellow color may be more visible. This is because their enamel is naturally thinner, or it is more translucent.
So, the yellow teeth are perfectly normal and maybe because of your genetics!
Even though it is a likely possibility that your yellow teeth are yellow because of your genetics, there are still chances of your teeth being affected by poor some lifestyle factors
Genetics do play a huge role on the basis of the color of your teeth. But it is best to not neglect any possibility of the lifestyle habits that may be enhancing the yellow color of your teeth.
Other factors that contribute to the discoloration are as the following:
It is commonly known as grinding the teeth.
poor dental hygiene
Lack of adequate brushing and flossing is the leading cause of tooth staining. A good oral hygiene routine will help to eliminate and prevent stains as well as decay and other dental diseases.
Without proper care, there is a buildup of plaque, and this risks teeth discoloration.
If your diet is not the healthiest it may contribute to yellow teeth especially if it has a daily high consumption of sweets and sugary food.
Coffee, tea, and wine are probably the most well-known tooth staining foods if consumed regularly
Smoking and tobacco
This is one of the largest contributors to the yellowing of the teeth.
Tobacco contains nicotine and tar which settle in the oral cavity leading to dark yellow or brown staining on tooth surfaces.
One medication is known to cause tooth discoloration.
Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and radiation end up with discolored teeth due to the chemical reactions occurring in the body.
the most well-known being the antibiotic tetracycline which can cause greying of the teeth.
As stated previously in the beginning of the article, genetic factors and family history also contribute to the yellowing of teeth.
tooth enamel will naturally thin with age revealing the yellow dentin beneath.
Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources, like naturally high fluoride levels in the water, or from excessive fluoride use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements are taken by mouth) can cause teeth discoloration.
Damage from a fall can disturb enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing.
Studies show that trauma can also cause discoloration in adult teeth
Several diseases that affect enamel and dentin can lead to tooth discoloration.
Treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color.
Colors of Your Teeth:
This color is very common in baby teeth or the “Primary teeth” as they are newly grown teeth. They are more calcified.
The dentin of the baby’s teeth is very light yellow and appears to be white.
Hence the teeth appear pearly white.
However, this reduces by age. Thus, making age a factor of yellowing of the teeth.
Light Yellow or Light Gray
The teeth that grow after the baby teeth are called “Permeant teeth”.
They are naturally darker because the dentin turns yellow affected by the aging factor.
Over the years, food and drinking habits can also cause discoloration of the teeth.
They may also appear yellow if there is plaque buildup and because of poor oral hygiene.
They are more advanced stains which are often caused by all the smoking and chewing of tobacco regularly.
Tooth decay may turn your teeth grayish or black.
Exposure to minerals like iron, manganese, or silver in industrial settings or from any supplements may create a black line on your teeth.
Reducing discoloration of the teeth
There are a few things that you should keep in check and limit to keep away the discoloration from your teeth
- Limit your sugary and sweet consumption
- Lessen or quit smoking
- Dental checkups
Regular dental check-ups also help in keeping oral hygiene under check, and your dentist can identify the problem as soon as it buds or before it turns into a more complex issue.
A six-month appointment to the dentist is another great way to fight back against the buildup of calculus and stains, as well as cavities and other oral-health related issues.
If you are brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing every day, and visiting us every six months for a cleaning and checkup, slightly yellow teeth do not necessarily indicate that they are unhealthy.
- Brushing your teeth
The most effective and wallet-friendly technique is brushing your teeth. It not only helps with teeth discoloration but also helps in maintaining good oral hygiene
Brushing should be done in the correct manner.
Brush your teeth after and before having any food that may risk teeth staining like acidic foods and drinks.
Acidic food and drinks increase the possibility of enamel erosion and cause teeth sensitivity.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for only 2 minutes. Do not brush your teeth too vigorously, brush in a circular manner.
Brushing with whitening toothpaste will aid in preventing tooth discoloration.
There is nothing wrong in having yellow teeth but however, if you want to achieve lighter yellow or even whiter colored teeth then there are a few popular home remedies that will surely help you to do so!
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
Using a paste made of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is said to remove plaque buildup and bacteria to get rid of stains.
To form the paste, you need to mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide.
Brush your teeth with this paste and afterward, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
Using a toothpaste that contains baking soda and peroxide is effective in getting rid of tooth stains and whitening their teeth.
You will be able to see significant improvements within 6 weeks.
Coconut oil pulling
This remedy removes plaque and bacteria from the mouth, which helps to whiten teeth.
To do this remedy you will have to swish 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid coconut oil in your mouth for 10 to 30 minutes.
Be careful! Do not let the oil touch the back of your throat and Do not swallow the oil as it contains toxins and bacteria from your mouth which may cause infections in your throat
Remember to Spit it into the toilet or a wastepaper basket, as it could clog drains.
After doing so, rinse your mouth with water and then drink a full glass of water.
Lastly, you should brush your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used in very small amounts to whiten the teeth.
Make a mouthwash using the apple cider vinegar.
Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 6 ounces of water.
Swish the solution for 30 seconds in your mouth and then rinse with water.
Lastly, brush your teeth.
However, it should be kept in mind that it has the potential to cause damage to the hardness and surface structure of teeth.
So, you should use it with caution and only use it for short amounts of time.
Rubbing lemon, orange, or banana peels on your teeth help in whitening the teeth.
The citric acid that is found in some citrus fruit peels will help to whiten your teeth.
You should gently rub the fruit peels on your teeth for about 2 minutes.
Then, make sure to thoroughly rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth afterward.
Be careful when using this strategy because fruit is acidic.
The acid can erode and wear away your enamel.
If you notice that your teeth are becoming more sensitive, then it is advised to stop using this method.
This is currently a very popular remedy.
You use activated charcoal to remove stains from your teeth.
The charcoal can remove pigments and stains from your teeth because it is highly absorbent.
It also helps to get rid of bacteria and toxins in the mouth.
There are kinds of toothpaste that contain activated charcoal and aid to whiten teeth.
To brush your teeth with activated charcoal, open a capsule of activated charcoal and apply it on your toothbrush.
Gently brush your teeth using small circles for 2 minutes.
Be careful while brushing around your gums as it can be abrasive.
If your teeth are sensitive or you want to limit the abrasiveness of the charcoal, you can dab it on your teeth.
Then, leave it on for 2 minutes and rinse your mouth thoroughly, afterward.
To make a mouthwash, you can mix activated charcoal with a small amount of water.
Swish this solution for 2 minutes and then spit it out.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after using activated charcoal.
If you brush away too hard with activated charcoal, then the enamel will corrode away which causes more of the yellow dentin underneath it will become exposed.
So, you should Be cautious when using charcoal and charcoal-based products.
Eating fruits and vegetables with higher water content
It’s said that eating raw fruits and vegetables with a high-water content can help to keep your teeth healthy.
The water content cleanses your teeth and gums of plaque and bacteria that lead to yellow teeth
Chewing on crunchy fruits and vegetables at the end of a meal may increase saliva production.
This helps to remove food particles that are stuck in your teeth and wash away any harmful acids.
So, there is no doubt that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for your dental and overall health.
Please keep in mind that you must be careful with at-home whitening because you may damage your teeth if products are used incorrectly or for too much time.
These remedies may wear away too much of your enamel, which could put you at risk for sensitivity and cavities.
There are many at-home options you can try to whiten your teeth.
However, be cautious because you can damage your enamel or gums, which can lead to sensitivity and cavities.
The best way to whiten your teeth is to prevent stains before they happen is to continue to practice good oral hygiene like brushing regularly and flossing along with having regular dental checkups.
If you have tried these methods without success, your dentist may be able to help you determine if another treatment method may be a better option.
So, the bottom line is, judging teeth on the basis of their color can be misleading as not all white teeth are healthy and not all yellow teeth are unhealthy!