How To Whiten Teeth And Why They Are Yellow

Bright, white teeth are a symbol of a well groomed man’s appearance. They make you look younger, more attractive, and even more powerful to others. These are the reasons why many guys choose to whiten their teeth and emulate their favorite Hollywood actors and celebrities.

Now keep in mind that the yellowing of teeth is a very common occurrence, and it has to do with the way your enamel ( hard surface of the tooth ) is translucent and covers the layer of calcified tissue known as dentin ( which is naturally yellow in appearance ). Enamel wears away as a result of many different factors, and that exposes you to more of that yellowish color in effect.

Simply put, yellow teeth is what most people in the world have and it is not usually a cause for concern, aside from not being as attractive appearance-wise.

So how do you whiten your teeth? Before we answer this question, let us first delve into these several reasons as to why your teeth go yellow in the first place.

7 Main Reasons for Tooth Discoloration:

  1. Food and Beverages: The most common reason for your teeth discoloration has to do with something you do everyday, eat and drink. Many foods and beverages can both stain your teeth, as well as break down enamel. These foods include coffee, teas, sodas, curry, tomato sauce and even certain fruits and vegetables.
  2. Aging: Your age definitely plays a factor in the color of your teeth, and unfortunately as you get older the more yellow your teeth get due to the enamel being worn away over time. And if you recall from above; what happens when your enamel dissipates? More dentin is exposed and it is naturally yellow in color.
  3. Smoking and Tobacco: These habits are not only detrimental for your health, but also for your teeth as well. Use whiter teeth as another reason to push you to quit!
  4. Excessive Fluoride: Fluoride that can be find in toothpaste and tap water can and will cause tooth discoloration when exposed in high amounts, so keep that in mind when drinking tap water and brushing your teeth.
  5. Genetic formation: Genetics not only play a role in your beard thickness, but also in the size and brightness of your enamel, which in turn reflects the color of your teeth. This is why you see some people have naturally whiter teeth than others without using any whitening procedures.
  6. Oral Hygiene: Improper or lack of flossing, brushing, and rinsing will expedite the enamel wearing process as tartar and plaque builds up.
  7. Medication: Certain medications can unfortunately stain teeth. This includes certain antihistamines, blood pressure drugs, doxycycline, and some antipsychotic drugs among others. Tooth discoloration is by no means a reason to skip taking your medication however, so always keep in touch with your doctor.
    cup of coffee stains teeth

    While it may look delicious, coffee is one of the worst enemies for whiter teeth.

There are other causes for tooth discoloration as well, however these are the 7 most common ones that you should be aware of.

The reason we listed these is that you can make some changes to your daily life that can affect the health and color of your teeth. Simply said, try to reduce coffee intake, use a straw when drinking beverages that are high in sugar, and most importantly quit smoking!

Aside from that, there are several options you have in terms of teeth whitening, and we will briefly talk about them here:

Other Options For Whitening Your Teeth

dentist operating on teeth

A dental cleaning is a must for whiter teeth.

  • Dental Cleaning: A cleaning by a dental hygienist is both healthy and beneficial in terms of teeth whitening. You should be going to your dental hygienist for a cleaning around every 7 months.
  • Over the counter teeth whiteners: These usually involve a tray with a custom fit mouth guard that a whitening agent is applied to. These products contain peroxides that can go up to 20%. The safer ones are usually around 12-15%, and they still are effective in terms of whitening. Make sure you don’t keep them on for too long because they can negatively impact your teeth instead.
  • Dentist whitening procedures: Your dentist is the best person to ask in terms of teeth whitening, so definitely make an appointment as soon as possible and explore some of more effective options such as power bleaching. This is how most celebrities achieve pearly white teeth.

As you can see, there are many ways to brighten your smile and whiten your teeth. Knowledge is power, and knowing the reasons why they are yellow in the first place, combined with a dental cleaning every half a year can go a long way into improving your smile.

Remember, always refer to your dentist before using any whitening product because they are not recommended for everyone.

Sources:

  1. Dentin: Structure, Composition and Mineralization: NCBI.