Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, so it’s natural to want to avoid tooth discoloration and keep it bright. However, it’s common for teeth to become discolored over time, which can detract from that healthy smile. Tooth discoloration is a common problem, but fortunately there are solutions to bring back that gleaming white smile.
First off, what causes yellow teeth?
There are many causes of yellow or discolored teeth. A few of the most common:
Drinks: Coffee and red wine are commonly known culprits. But other drinks with high acidity, such as soda, juices and even sports drinks can cause staining on the teeth. Even white wine isn’t off the hook, because its tannins and acidic nature wear away at the tooth enamel.
Certain Foods: Colored candies, popsicles and other bright foods can cause staining over time. Think of it this way – if your tongue turns a bright shade of blue, chances are your teeth are getting some of that discoloration, too. Even healthy foods such as berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries) can stain teeth. Ketchup, curry and other sauces can cause staining problems over time, too.
Natural Aging Process: Quite simply, teeth yellow over time. It’s a natural part of the aging process that the white protective coatings wear down over time. So the longer you have your teeth, the more likely they are to become yellow or discolored.
Most of us are guilty of at least some of the above (and none of us can stop time). But the good news is that even if red wine is one of your vices and your teeth look yellower lately, there are things you can do to bring back the white.
Secondly, what can I do about it?
Avoid Certain Foods/Drinks When Possible: We’re not asking you to give up your morning coffee, just to reduce the intake of the above foods as much as possible. Sometimes simply being aware can help us make better choices.
Drink Water: After you’ve consumed a tooth-staining food or drink try to immediately follow it with a glass of water. Swirling water around your mouth can drastically help clear away the acids or staining. This simple step is free and easy, and can drastically help reduce tooth discoloration.
Proper Dental Hygiene: Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups help keep teeth healthy for a lifetime. Develop these habits early and you’re less likely to have dental problems down the line.
Teeth Whitening: The good news is that there are many options available to whiten teeth. Some can be done at home while others, such as ZOOM! Laser Whitening can be done during a single office visit with dramatic results. Talk to your dental provider to determine which solution is best for you.
For more information on ZOOM! Laser Whitening and other ways to maintain a healthy smile click here.