It's important to know that sometimes yellow teeth are just the way some people's teeth are. It could be genetics and there's nothing that can be done. Teeth are actually supposed to have a gray or yellow tinge to them. The outer layer of your teeth is enamel, which is a blue and white color. The next layer is called dentin with is a darker yellow color. Since enamel is translucent, the dentin layer shows through. So the shade or thickness of your enamel is what determines the color of your teeth.
Yellow teeth are not necessarily unhealthy. If the reason for your teeth being yellow is because of plaque buildup, then that can be unhealthy. But a natural shade of yellow is completely normal.
There are some things that can cause your teeth to appear more yellow than normal, and those are the things that should be avoided. Here's how to avoid yellow teeth.
- Stop Smoking
Smoking makes teeth yellow because of the ingredients and chemicals carried in the smoke, such as tar and nicotine. They soak into the pores of your tooth enamel, changing it's color to yellow. Nicotine becomes yellow when it mixes with oxygen so e-cigarettes will stain your teeth as well. If you're a smoker try to quit in order to help your teeth stay healthy, as well as your lungs.
- Floss and Brush Properly
If you're noticing a build-up of tartar or plaque, then it's probably contributing to your yellow teeth. Plaque is formed when food particles aren't cleaned properly from your teeth. This leads to a yellow coating formed on or around your teeth. Plaque can cause bad breath and gum disease. You can get the food particles out by flossing and brushing thoroughly. See how to brush properly here.
- Watch What You Eat
The food you eat can have an effect on the yellowness of your teeth. So if the shade of your teeth is more important than the following food, try to avoid them:
- Coffee and tea
- Tomato sauces
- Red wine
- Soy sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
There are also foods that can make your teeth more likely to stain.
- Carbonated drinks, especially colored ones
- Sugary foods
- Alcoholic drinks
- Artifical sweetners
- Sports drinks
Okay, obviously this one is unavoidable, but if you're wondering why your teeth are getting more yellow, it could be because of your age. Your enamel becomes thinner as you age, causing the yellow dentin to come through underneath.
Be Aware of Certain Medications
There are some antibiotics that can cause your teeth to yellow - tetracycline and amoxicillin. This is especially true for children under the age of 8. There are also some allergy medications and high blood pressure medication that can affect the color of your teeth.
If you are undergoing certain medical treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, you may notice your teeth becoming a yellowish or brown color.