If you are becoming self conscious about yellow teeth, you are probably curious about the best ways to whiten them. There are a variety of tooth bleaching options, as well as abrasive products to remove stains, all promising to leave your teeth pearly white – but are they safe, and are they as good as they claim to be?
Causes Of Yellow Teeth
To get rid of yellow teeth, you need to know why they are becoming discoloured. There are a few factors that may be the cause of your issue.
As you age, your teeth will naturally be yellow. Over time, tooth enamel becomes worn away, especially if you consume a lot of acidic foods and drinks. The underlying dentin, which is a yellow colour, starts to gradually become more visible.
A common reason is a deeply coloured food and drink, such as coffee, red wine, and vibrant fruits and vegetables, which stain teeth. These are extrinsic stains or surface stains; you can prevent yellow stains from these by rinsing your mouth with water immediately afterwards.
Tooth decay and periodontal diseases, like periodontitis, also leads to yellow teeth, and requires dental care. Certain drugs and medications may also discolour teeth; check with your doctor or dentist to confirm if this may be a factor for you.
At-Home Teeth Whitening Options
Whitening toothpastes are good for removing surface stains, although they usually only produce a subtle whitening effect. They use mild abrasives for stain removal as you brush your teeth. Be careful when you brush your teeth after consuming acidic drinks or foods, as your enamel may be softened by the acids and can erode more easily as you brush
There are some whitening rinses available. These use hydrogen peroxide, which can strip tooth enamel. Also, it takes a few months to see any results, and teeth are only whitened by one or two shades.
Natural Teeth Whitening
Be cautious, as many are not backed by scientific evidence, and do not offer proven results.
Many home remedies that promise to naturally whiten your teeth involve acids, such as apple cider vinegar, strawberries, or lemon juice. These can damage enamel, as the acids erode your dental hard tissues away. Your teeth may be even more yellow than before, as the yellow dentin underneath shows through.
Baking soda and activated charcoal are other home solutions; again, these can be damaging. Both work as abrasives to scrub surface teeth stains away. While they can be effective, they are often too abrasive and lead to enamel erosion.
Coconut oil pulling, where coconut oil is swished in the mouth, may reduce plaque buildup, but more research is needed to see how effective it is in whitening teeth, and whether it is a safe option.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Whitening strips may lighten your teeth a couple of shades. The strips are infused with a hydrogen peroxide gel for the bleaching agent. They are fairly easy to use, but results are limited, and the peroxide may be harsh on teeth and damage enamel.
Home whitening kits contain a carbamide peroxide that you apply via a tray moulded onto your teeth, and are left on for thirty minutes to an hour. They may lighten stained teeth a couple of shades, but as with other at-home products, there are increased risks of damage.
Whiten Teeth Professionally To Keep Teeth Healthy, As Well As White
Treatments under dental supervision can lighten intrinsic stains, or those underneath the surface of your teeth, unlike over-the-counter products. You can be treated in-office at the dentist’s office, or you may be given trays to take home.
Having your teeth whitened by a dentist is safer, as the procedure is done under professional supervision, so you can be confident that you will have healthy teeth after whitening. It also provides better results; in-office treatments whiten teeth more noticeably and instantly.
Another key reason to whiten your teeth professionally is that your dentist will make sure your tooth discoloration is not due to thinning tooth enamel.
Thinning tooth enamel is the reason many at-home remedies and products can make discolored teeth even more yellow, with the dentin underneath becoming more visible. Your dentist will know if your yellow teeth are not the result of tooth stains, but because of translucent enamel, and can advise you to avoid products with hydrogen peroxide, or abrasive products that scrub surface stains.
Your dentist will also be able to determine if your discolouration is from decayed or damaged teeth, which would need dental care.
If you have veneers, fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations, you may not benefit from bleaching, as the restoration materials will not be affected the way your natural teeth are, so another solution may be better for you. Your dentist can discuss suitable options.
To keep your smile bright, Onyx Dental can help with safe and effective tooth whitening. We will assess your teeth, determine the cause of your discolouration, and consider how your dental restorations may impact your results, so we can help you get the results you are looking for. With our professional help, you can achieve a sparklier, whiter smile.