Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?

woman covering up her yellow teeth

Everyone wants a beautiful, white smile—after all, it’s a good sign of strong, healthy teeth. But teeth don’t only turn yellow because of neglect. In fact, there are many things that can give your your teeth a yellowed appearance.

1. Genetics

No matter how much you brush your teeth, sometimes the color of your teeth is simply determined by your genes. If your parents or grandparents have discolored teeth, chances are yours are discolored for genetic reasons.

2. Food and Drink

You are what you eat! Some foods and drinks can stain your enamel. The main culprits are acidic foods like citrus, candy, berries, and even pasta sauce, as well as drinks like soda and coffee. Try to curb your consumption of these foods and drinks to prevent staining your teeth.

3. Too Much Fluoride

Yes, you can have too much of a good thing! While getting fluoride treatments and using toothpastes with fluoride (not to mention drinking fluorinated water) are great ways to protect your teeth from cavities, too much fluoride can actually cause brown and yellow spots on your teeth. It’s best to talk to a dentist if you are concerned about being exposed to too much fluoride.

4. Medication

Certain antibiotics, like tetracycline, have been known to cause stains on teeth.

5. Smoking

Smoking causes surface stains on your teeth, among other health concerns.

6. Weak Enamel

Weak enamel makes the dentin, a yellow substance underneath the enamel, appear more clearly, causing your teeth to look stained. We all have dentin in our teeth, but it is the thickness of the enamel over it that determines how much of it is visible to the naked eye.

What to Do About Yellow Teeth

No matter the cause of your discolored teeth, know that you have your options when it comes to whitening them! Using whitening toothpastes, getting at-home whitening kits, and seeking professional whitening treatments are all great ways to brighten your smile.

At Arlington Dental Center, we offer KöR® Deep Bleaching treatments that can whiten your teeth by up to 16 shades. If you’re pressed for time, we also offer one-visit whitening that can whiten your teeth by up to eight shades, as well as one-size whitening trays for those on a tighter budget. If you’re ready for the smile of your dreams, contact us to schedule an appointment today.


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