What makes my teeth turn yellow? And how can I change this?
While it’s hard to nail down exactly what makes each person’s teeth yellow, it is often a combination of several factors such as food, environment, and age. Your teeth will naturally become darker with time, and things like chewing tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, wine, dark colored foods (blueberries, grapes, pomegranates) and even medications are just some of the culprits that can cause discoloration. These foods and beverages are high in pigment-producing substances that have a tendency to stick to your pearly whites and make them . . . well, less white. Bummer, we know.
Changing your teeth back to white is, unfortunately, not as easy as simply taking an eraser to your teeth. Simple practices such as keeping a healthy diet, brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and getting regular cleanings that can help keep your teeth white. However, these will not completely prevent staining.
What types of whitening treatments are available?
At-Home Whitening: At-home whitening systems include strips, gels, tray-based bleaching systems, and whitening toothpastes. These systems are generally inexpensive and will work to whiten your teeth by a couple shades. All whitening solutions use peroxide-based bleaching agents to whiten teeth, but at-home systems only use 3%-20%. Because of this, home whitening is generally not as effective as getting your teeth professionally whitened.
In-Office Whitening: Most people receive more dramatic whitening results when they visit their dentist rather than using at-home kits. This is because dentists generally use a combination of a stronger bleaching solution, heat, and light to receive more dramatic results.
No matter what whitening treatment you choose, don’t forget to consult your dentist. Remember that either treatment can make your gums or teeth sensitive and cause enamel erosion. If you have any questions about whitening or other available options, do not hesitate to contact us!