Why Are My Teeth Yellow?

You brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and always make sure to gargle, but for some reason your teeth aren’t the pearly white color you want them to be. Why are your teeth still yellow?

It seems like everyone is born with perfect teeth, but the truth is, most celebrities and even ordinary people are either blessed with white teeth genetically, have their teeth professionally whitened, or use teeth whitening products. If you have impeccable dental hygiene but your teeth are still yellow it is most likely caused by what you are eating and drinking.

The enamel on your tooth is naturally white, especially when it is at its thickest but as you age and your enamel wears down, your tooth starts to show the color of the dentin layer of your teeth. The dentin layer is not white and has a yellowish tint. The thinner your enamel layer is, the more yellow your teeth will look (no matter how many times you brush.)

We know to watch out for teeth staining foods and drinks such as wine or black tea, and we know to watch out for sugary foods and drinks that can also break down the enamel, but we also need to be watching out for acidic foods and drinks which can cause a lot of damage in the long run. A few non-obvious examples are sodas, energy drinks, curries and other sauces, condiments such as balsamic vinegar and ketchup, and even fruit juices. We should also moderate our intake of anything that tastes obviously acidic like citrus fruits, coffee, or tomatoes.

But this doesn’t mean that we have to restrict our diet and avoid all of these foods to keep our teeth clean. Instead, there is one very simple thing that you can do to help protect your teeth: drink water! Swishing away some of the food or drink residue with some water can make a big difference on how white your teeth will stay. The saliva in your mouth is also a natural protectant of your teeth, so if you feel like you’re getting dehydrated or your mouth seems dry, drink water to help keep the pH balance of your mouth at a healthy level. Also, don’t be overly eager about brushing your teeth right after you eat. Your dental enamel actually softens slightly after eating and needs about an hour or so to harden up again before you can brush your teeth.

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating patients in the New Fairfield, CT area for over twenty-five years. If you have any questions about whitening your teeth or any other dental issues, call us at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.