Changes in the color of your teeth may be subtle and happen gradually. Some yellow color may be inevitable.
Teeth can look more yellow or darken especially as you age. As the outer enamel wears away, the yellowy dentin underneath becomes more visible. Dentin is the second layer of calcified tissue beneath the outside enamel layer.
If you’re looking to whiten your teeth, you do have some alternatives to conventional methods.
Please be careful with at-home whitening because you may damage your teeth if products are used incorrectly or for too much time. You may wear away too much of your enamel, which could put you at risk for sensitivity and cavities.
Extrinsic and intrinsic tooth stains
Before we explore any further, it’s important to know the two types of tooth stains.
Extrinsic stains cling to your enamel and appear on the surface of your teeth. Soda, coffee, and wine are culprits for causing extrinsic stains.
Although you can get rid of extrinsic stains at home, it’s lengthy and difficult. And you may get new stains as you remove old ones. A quick trip to Forest Hills can get you instant results.
An intrinsic stain occurs beneath your enamel. These stains occur from tooth damage, aging, medications, and fluorosis.
Intrinsic stains need professional treatment. It may take a few whitening treatments, but Dr. Mizrahi can get rid of them.
Aging and yellow teeth
Tooth enamel gradually wears down over time. It’s an unavoidable part of aging.
As your enamel thins, dentin, the layer under your enamel, starts to show through. This results in a yellowish hue because dentin is yellow.
Diet and lifestyle
What you eat and drink can affect the color of your teeth. Certain drinks, like coffee, have heavy staining compounds called chromogens. They have powerful pigments that can stick to your enamel.
Another stain-producing compound is tannin, which is found in tea and wine. Though beneficial in many ways, tannins can make it easier for compounds like chromogens to stain your teeth.
Acidic foods are another cause of yellow teeth. Not only do they erode your enamel, but they also soften it. And softer enamel can stain much easier.
Why brushing does not remove yellow stains
Brushing keeps your teeth clean and strong by removing plaque. But, yellow stains can occur from thinning enamel. A toothbrush can’t restore lost enamel, and it can’t change the color of your dentin either.
If plaque isn’t removed from your teeth, it can harden and turn into tartar, which gives your teeth a yellow tint that won’t go away with brushing. Another issue that can arise from plaque that isn’t removed in a timely manner is the breakdown of enamel itself. Only a professional cleaning from Dr. Mizrahi can remove tartar build-up.
Remedies for yellow teeth
Here are seven natural options for getting rid of yellow teeth.
It may be best to choose a few treatments and rotate them throughout the week. Some of the suggestions below do not have research to support them, but have been proven to be effective by anecdotal reports.
Experiment to find a solution that works for you.
1. Brushing your teeth
Your first plan of action should be to brush your teeth more often and in the correct manner. It’s especially important that you brush after consuming foods and drinks that can lead to yellow teeth.
However, be careful with brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods and drinks. Brushing right away can make the acids brush away more enamel and lead to erosion.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. Make sure you get into all of the cracks and crevices. Brush your teeth gently in a circular motion to ensure you’re protecting your gums. Brush the inside, outside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Using an electric toothbrush may also be more effective in removing surface stains.
2. Coconut oil pulling
Coconut oil pulling is said to remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth, which helps to whiten teeth. Always shop for a high quality, organic oil, which you can purchase online, that doesn’t contain harmful ingredients.
Swish 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid coconut oil in your mouth for 10 to 30 minutes. Don’t let the oil touch the back of your throat. Don’t swallow the oil as it contains toxins and bacteria from your mouth.
Spit it into the toilet or a wastepaper basket, as it could clog drains. Rinse your mouth with water and then drink a full glass of water. Then brush your teeth.
There are no specific studies that confirm the teeth whitening effect of oil pulling.
Further studies on the effect of oil pulling with coconut oil are needed.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Make a mouthwash by mixing 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with 6 ounces of water. Swish the solution for 30 seconds. Then rinse with water and brush your teeth.
However, it should be noted that it has the potential to cause damage to the hardness and surface structure of teeth. So, use it with caution, and only use it for short amounts of time. More human studies are needed to expand upon these findings.
4. Lemon, orange, or banana peels
Some people claim that rubbing lemon, orange, or banana peels on your teeth will make them whiter. It’s believed that the compound d-limonene and/or citric acid, which is found in some citrus fruit peels, will help to whiten your teeth.
Gently rub the fruit peels on your teeth for about 2 minutes. Make sure to thoroughly rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth afterward.
Scientific research proving the effectiveness of using fruit peels to make teeth whiter is lacking.
People who brushed with a toothpaste containing d-limonene combined with a whitening formula twice daily for 4 weeks significantly reduced smoking stains, though it didn’t remove long-standing smoking stains or tea stains.
Be careful when using this strategy because fruit’s acidic. The acid can erode and wear away your enamel. If you notice that your teeth are becoming more sensitive, please stop using this method.
6. Eating fruits and vegetables with a higher water content
It’s said that eating raw fruits and vegetables with a high-water content can help to keep your teeth healthy. The water content is thought to cleanse your teeth and gums of plaque and bacteria that lead to yellow teeth.
Chewing on crunchy fruits and vegetables at the end of a meal may increase saliva production. This can help to remove food particles that are stuck in your teeth and wash away any harmful acids.
While there’s no doubt that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for your dental and overall health, there’s not a lot of scientific evidence that supports these claims. That said, eating these healthy foods throughout the day certainly won’t do any harm.
We welcome you to Expert Dental Center in Doha to check your teeth periodically and provide full care for them.