Yellow Teeth Prevention: Are you wearing away your enamel?

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Have you ever stared at your not-so-pearly-white teeth in the mirror and wondered why they seem to look so yellow?

There are many reasons why our teeth may become discoloured over time, such as decay and staining, but one cause which many people are often not aware of is the wearing away of the teeth’s enamel. To understand how this makes our teeth yellow, we need to understand the biology of the teeth. Our teeth are covered in a thick, mineralised surface called enamel, which protects the delicate tissue inside the teeth. This enamel is naturally white, however throughout the course of our lives, our enamel is exposed to different substances which can eat away at it, causing it to become translucent. A yellow tone will then start to show through, as the layer underneath the enamel, called dentin, has a naturally yellower tone. This explains why many elderly people have rather yellow teeth, as their enamel has been worn away.

Some of the things that can damage the enamel of our teeth are:

  • Acidic drinks e.g. Cola, Soda, Sport drinks
  • Vinegar
  • Citrus Juice
  • Coffee, Tea and Wine
  • Sugary Sweets
  • Poor health in general
  • Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with very hard bristles
  • Excessive vomiting (such as during morning sickness)
  • Grinding of the teeth (often during sleep)

The best prevention is to watch what you eat and how you look after your teeth in general. Try to avoid sugary foods and drinks where possible. When it comes to the healthier items on the list, rather than avoiding them, it is a good idea to simply be aware of the effect they can have on your enamel and take steps to minimise the damage when eating them. This can be done by rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking these foods to clear the acids and staining compounds from your mouth. You should also wait a couple of hours before brushing your teeth because brushing your teeth immediately after consuming these foods and drinks will actually further erode your enamel. You should also choose a gentle toothbrush and brush your teeth gently rather than aggressively scrubbing them. Developing habits like regular brushing and dental check-ups are also considered helpful for keeping your teeth healthy and white.

If your teeth are not looking as white as you would like, teeth whitening services can help restore your smile. At Dr Levi’s Smile Shop, we offer three highly effective professional teeth whitening treatments which help patients achieve a gleaming white smile while maintaining the health of their teeth. Find out more information on their whitening treatments here or contact us here on (02) 9283 1900.