Get Rid of Yellow Teeth: Stay Away From “Home Remedies”
Yellow teeth are a problem we may all face at some point in our life. Unfortunately, there are many websites touting home remedies to get rid of yellow teeth. This concerns us greatly because there can be many different reasons why teeth turn yellow. And while well-intentioned, home remedies may be doing much more harm than help.
If you’re holding back from showing off your pearly whites, you’re not alone. Here are the 3 most common reasons for yellow teeth that we see at our dental clinic in Blackburn — and how you can get rid of it in a healthy, pain-free way.
Reason #1 Brushing too hard
If your teeth are looking yellow, it may feel intuitive to brush harder or longer to clean it off. Unfortunately, by brushing harder or longer, you are instead removing tooth enamel.
Tooth enamel is the top layer on your teeth that protects it from all the nasty bacteria that can damage it. When you brush too hard, you in effect, begin to brush this top layer off. Once the top layer is eroded, the second layer of your tooth becomes exposed. This second layer is the dentine, which is yellow in colour.
So by overbrushing, you may unknowingly be removing tooth enamel and exposing the layer of dentine underneath. Since dentine is yellow, this can cause your teeth to appear yellow.
To be sure you’re brushing correctly, book in for a teeth check up & clean with your dentist. Our dentists in Blackburn can spot signs of enamel erosion, and prescribe a suitable daily brushing routine for you.
Reason #2 Too much acidity can cause yellow teeth
While we all know that sugar is bad for your teeth, lesser known is acidity. Highly acidic food and beverages include lemon, apple cider vinegar and sport drinks.
Why is acidity bad for teeth? In the same vein as Reason #1, acid makes teeth softer and wears away tooth enamel. Too much acidity will dissolve the enamel and expose the dentine underneath. Since dentine is a yellow colour, teeth with enamel erosion will appear yellow.
This isn’t to say that you can’t have any acidic foods in your diet. Lots of the things we eat (for example, fruit) are mildly acidic. It’s just about having everything in moderation. If you love squeezing lime as a garnish on your food, that’s all good! Having the acidic lime juice with other foods also greatly dilutes the acidic effect so it doesn’t damage your teeth.
As dentists, the most common problem we spot is adding lemon to water. This can equate to a large amount of acid hitting your teeth as you sip on lemon water all day! If you stay hydrated with plain water, your teeth will be healthier, and whiter for it.
Reason #3 Teeth aren’t naturally bright white
We often picture “perfect healthy teeth” as being a shiny white colour, but it’s actually natural for teeth to be “off-white”. For most of us, our teeth will also naturally become less white over time.
The only way to make teeth whiter is with professional teeth whitening. Unfortunately, many websites resort to using products such as baking soda, lemon, activated charcoal and whitening toothpastes, promoting them as more natural alternatives. These products may make teeth appear whiter in the short term, but unfortunately in the long term will damage teeth and make them appear yellower.
Products like baking soda and lemon are acidic, and products like activated charcoal and whitening toothpastes are highly abrasive. Using these products on teeth will erode tooth enamel away. Once the enamel is gone, the dentine is exposed which makes your teeth look yellow.
To safely and painlessly whiten teeth, we implore patients to look at professional teeth whitening, rather than using home remedies or ‘natural solutions’. These may sometimes work in the short term but they cause more harm than good in the long term.