Have you been staring at your teeth on Zoom? Or aware of what your mouth looks like now that mask mandates are basically non-existent? Just me? Cool. Well, let’s say you are concerned about the state of your teeth. You’re probably familiar with coffee staining your teeth, or have heard of it. And it’s true. Coffee, wine, tea, and other potent beverages are known to stain your teeth and cause yellowing. But did you know there are many other factors that could increase yellowing?
As it turns out, tooth enamel is porous, or contains holes through which air or liquid may pass through. Tooth enamel also has plaque build-up, the collection of bacteria and food debris that can settle into pores—resulting in tooth discoloration. And yes, coffee and tea are major culprits, but highly pigmented drinks and foods, like dark sodas (Coca-Cola) and soy sauce, can contribute to the color as well. Nicotine also makes the cut. Of course, there are ways to combat yellowing that don’t involve going cold turkey.
For example, if drinking coffee and soda are a must for you, drink through a straw. This prevents the liquid from hitting the front of your teeth. And remember to brush twice a day (it really helps, promise.) Finally, this is what you really don’t want to miss: Floss. After a few days of flossing, you’ll notice a change in your tooth hue. You’ll look like you just left the dentist every day. But don’t skimp on regular dental cleanings. The actual deep clean by a professional is irreplaceable.
Overall health can also contribute to discoloration. If you are experiencing any injuries, illness, or nutritional deficiencies, you might also see yellowing. But, if all else fails, note that yellowing can be genetics. Some people naturally have very thick or very thin tooth enamel. And, due to age, or aggressive brushing, the tooth enamel will wear down over time, making the next tooth layer a bit yellow or brownish.