Your smile can light up any room. With a grin as contagious as yours, it would be a shame to hide it away from the world.
That’s why yellow teeth can be your worst enemy. If you’re keeping your mouth closed all the time for fear of exposing your not-so-pearly-whites, maybe it’s time to change up the habits that are wrecking your teeth.
First, a little biology for you: Enamel is the outer layer of your teeth and its coloring is generally bright white. The layer just beneath, called dentin, starts to peek out as the enamel layer erodes and becomes thinner. And guess what color dentin is? Yep, yellow.
Fortunately, there are some changes you can make to your everyday routine to keep your enamel strong and prevent that pesky, yellowish dentin from showing its colors. Here’s what you may be doing wrong that’s turning your teeth yellow.
Using too much mouthwash
Saliva has a combination of minerals, enzymes and oxygen compounds that keep the pH balance in your mouth neutral. This is important because without saliva, the mouth is too acidic and can wear away enamel. Saliva also gets rid of bacteria and prevents stains from sticking to the enamel layer. But for some reason, many commercial mouthwashes are made to be very acidic, and if used frequently, can destroy tooth enamel that your saliva seeks to protect.
Eating acidic food
Just as acidic mouthwash can thin out enamel, so can the acids you consume through your diet. These foods include citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, pineapples, vinegar, carbonated beverages, some sports drinks and vinegar-based salad dressings. These items don’t need to be cut out completely, but it’s a good call to sip some water or brush your teeth after consumption.
Drinking too much coffee
Sipping multiple coffees each and every day puts the enamel of your teeth in persistent danger of getting stained. When not rinsed or brushed away, coffee stains can settle into teeth enamel and cause yellowing. Drinking coffee more quickly, or even through a straw, can reduce the amount of time coffee has to stain your teeth.
The chemicals in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco stain the teeth by clinging to enamel. The longer you smoke, the more visible the discoloring becomes.
Maintaining bad oral hygiene
Poor brushing and flossing allow plaque to accumulate on your teeth enamel. Unfortunately, the growing bacteria can make your teeth look seriously yellow, especially as time goes on.
Brushing too hard
But there’s a flip side: While it’s essential to brush your teeth regularly, applying more pressure and increasing speed can be detrimental for your dental health. This problem is exacerbated if your toothpaste contains harsh and harmful ingredients. If you brush too hard or too often, you might wear away the thin enamel layer and expose the yellow dentin layer.