Debunking Myths About Yellow Teeth and the Secrets to a Brighter Smile
Jun 30, 2023
The “Hollywood Smile” has been trying to set our standard for the perfect smile for decades. To be as shiny as Hollywood stars, we must have bright white, gap-free, perfectly aligned teeth.
People come to believe that a dazzling smile can improve their appearance. And it makes them feel happier and more confident. Under these circumstances, a bright set of pearly white teeth is all it takes to boost one’s self-esteem.
However, can we equate white teeth with healthy teeth or yellow teeth with unhealthy?
In daily life, everyone often associates white teeth with healthy teeth. In fact, many ideas we have about white and yellow teeth are incorrect. If you’ve believed the following myths, think again.
5 Common Myths About Yellow Teeth
To help you separate fact from fiction, we’ve rounded up some of the most common myths about yellow teeth.
Myth 1: Teeth are naturally bright white.
Teeth aren’t naturally a dazzlingly white color unless you’re one of the genetic lottery winners.
Your teeth are made of minerals, cementum, pulp, and dentin. The dentin has a natural yellow color. Although the enamel covering the dentin is white, it is translucent enough to allow it to show through. The thinner the enamel, the more prominent the dentin and the yellower the tooth.
Myth 2: Yellow teeth or non-white teeth are unhealthy.
Heavy staining and yellow plaque deposits can exacerbate the yellow tint of your teeth. But yellow teeth don’t necessarily mean your teeth are unhealthy.
If you are genetically predisposed to have thinner or less white enamel, you can do nothing to prevent your teeth from turning black. But those with discolored teeth caused by drinking coffee or wine do not necessarily have unhealthy smiles.
In general, yellow teeth are stronger than pearly white teeth as long as they are cleaned regularly.
Myth 3: Sugar-free drinks are safe for teeth.
It’s no secret that sugary sodas, sports drinks, and juices are bad news for keeping your teeth healthy. But what many people don’t know is that sugar-free drinks aren’t friendly to your teeth either.
“In sugar-free drinks, phosphorous and citric acid can wear away the enamel of teeth,” says Lilliam Pinzon, the section head of Public Health & Global Health at the University of Utah School of Dentistry. And weakening of the enamel can lead to a host of problems.
Myth 4: Straws will save your teeth from stains.
This myth stems from a simple idea. If drinks like soda and coffee stain your teeth, straws can prevent them from coming into contact with your teeth.
But the truth is, whether you drink through a straw or a regular cup, the liquid sloshes around in your mouth before swallowing. So go ahead, enjoy your favorite beverages, and plan on having regular dental cleanings to keep stains under control.
Myth 5: Braces contribute to the yellowing of teeth.
A lot of people with braces complain about their teeth getting yellow. However, is it really true? To be honest, braces by themselves won’t turn your teeth yellow.
The most common cause of yellow teeth with braces is not maintaining good oral hygiene. Even brushing teeth with braces can be tricky and uncomfortable for some people. This encourages some people to skip daily oral cleaning. And It leads to plaque accumulation, discoloration, and gum disease.
Unveiling the Causes of Yellow Teeth
Pursuing white teeth is not difficult, and you can get it back in many ways. But first, pay attention to what’s causing the yellowing.
- Poor oral hygiene: If you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly, it can cause a buildup of plaque and tartar, which makes your teeth look discolored.
- Food and drink: Consuming certain foods and beverages can stain teeth over time. Common culprits include coffee, tea, red wine, cola, berries, ketchup, and curry.
- Smoking: Both smoking and chewing tobacco can contribute to the yellowing of the teeth. Nicotine and tar in tobacco products cause stubborn stains.
- Age-related changes: As we age, the enamel on the outer layer of the tooth naturally wears away, exposing the dentin underneath. Dentin is yellow, so the teeth will appear yellow as the enamel thins.
- Medications: Some medications, like antibiotics (such as tetracyclines) and antihistamines, can make your teeth change color on the inside. This discoloration occurs during tooth development and is difficult to remove.
- Injury to the tooth: If the tooth is injured, the dentin will increase, darkening the tooth’s color.
- Fluorosis: Fluorosis roots excessive fluoride consumption during tooth growth. It includes high fluoride levels in drinking water or excessive fluoride usage. This condition can lead to the teeth turning white or brown; in severe cases, it may make the teeth yellow.
- Genetics: Some people are born with yellowish teeth due to their genetic makeup.
Proven Ways to Get Rid of Yellow Teeth
As mentioned above, there are 8 main causes of yellow teeth. And we can take corresponding measures to get rid of yellow teeth. They are:
Have an oral cleaning routine
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time, and make sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth. Brushing helps remove surface stains and plaque buildup. Besides that, use dental floss to clean your teeth, which helps take away plaque and food particles that can contribute to yellowing.
Limit staining food and drinks
As mentioned above, try to lessen your intake of foods and beverages that can color your teeth. If you do consume them, rinse your mouth with water afterward or brush your teeth shortly after to minimize staining.
Quit tobacco use
Quitting can significantly improve the color of your teeth if you smoke or use tobacco. Tobacco has stuff in it that can make your teeth hard to clean and can make your mouth not healthy.
Use whitening toothpaste
Consider using toothpaste specially formulated for teeth whitening. These kinds of toothpaste contain mild abrasives. And it helps remove surface stains over time. Just keep in mind that they may be less effective on deep, inherent stains.
Try whitening products
Various over-the-counter whitening products, such as whitening strips, gels, and trays, are available. These products often contain peroxide-based bleaching agents that lighten the color of your teeth. And it is necessary to read and follow the instructions carefully and talk to a dentist.
Visit your dentist regularly
It’s vital to have regular dentist visits. He will get your teeth cleaned, keep them healthy and deal with any color problems. Your dentist can help make your teeth whiter by doing a special treatment in their office or giving you custom trays to use at home. These treatments work well and give you faster and better results.
Anyway, tooth color does not determine the health of teeth. The natural color of teeth varies among individuals. So-called “normal” colors may also differ.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting sparkling white teeth. Take the method that suits you according to the different causes of yellow teeth.
Now, take action to be a radiant smile star!