We live in a society obsessed with appearance where standards of beauty are set unrealistic. When we are exposed to images of super white, shiny teeth in the media, it is no wonder that we feel self-aware of our own natural teeth.
This article will explain exactly what causes yellow teeth and how you can prevent it from occurring.
Why do teeth turn yellow?
The first reason for yellow teeth is due to certain foods and drinks that cause staining. The second reason is due to acids in particular foods and beverages that deteriorate the white enamel coating on your teeth.
Soda and soda cause yellow teeth, as it is very acidic, and drinking regularly can cause the protective outer layer of the teeth to wear away.
Tooth enamel is naturally white when it is at its thickest. However, as it wears down, it becomes translucent and the next layer of the tooth underneath, which is named dentin, becomes visible.
This layer of dentin on the teeth is a naturally more yellowish shade compared to the enamel that covers it.
Therefore, the thinner your enamel layer becomes, the more yellow your teeth will appear. This is why older people tend to have yellow teeth. The older the teeth, the more likely the white protective coverings have already been worn.
12 Foods and Drinks That Cause Yellow Teeth
The acidic foods and beverages that we consume regularly can be harmful to tooth enamel, they cause yellow teeth but also lack of hygiene and care.
You should know that there are ways to whiten your teeth naturally. You can see below a list of the most harmful foods that cause yellow teeth.
1. Black coffee
Coffee is a major cause of tooth stains. Because the outer layer of the tooth is very porous, it means that food and drinks are easily absorbed, and dark-colored drinks like coffee cause staining. If you drink coffee, try not to be black.
2. Black tea
You may think that tea causes fewer teeth stains than coffee, but that's not necessarily the case. Tea contains tannins, which stain teeth. But tea has great health benefits so you don't have to give it up entirely.
Just try to avoid black teas or cut them with milk. You can also enjoy the green and white varieties of herbs. Since they are lighter in color, they cause less staining.
3. Red wine
Red wine may love your heart (and it may delay Alzheimer's disease and dementia), but it doesn't treat your teeth with the same respect. Just look in the mirror after a glass of Shiraz and you will see what it means.
But before throwing away a good bottle, you have to know that studies have shown that moderate consumption of wine reduces inflammation. And while some research favors the benefits of red wine, some studies still suggest that the two types of wine, red and white, have similar effects.
Even if there is no final verdict, that one is better for overall health, you can still go for a bottle of white wine instead of red, or just swish around your mouth after drinking a glass of red wine.
4. Cola drinks and soft drinks
Dark sodas are not tooth-friendly because they stain the teeth, and they are not very good for your overall health.
The temperature of soda you drink can also be a factor, as both very cold and very hot temperatures can cause your teeth to shrink, making them more porous and prone to staining.
In addition, the phosphoric and citric acids in soda erode tooth enamel and the former is linked to multiple health problems. While artificial sweeteners in diet sodas do not cause tooth decay, they can make you sick and develop diabetes.
5. Dark colored fruit juice
Although pure fruit juices can be good for your health, they are not so good for your teeth. The dark color, along with acids, can turn teeth yellow.
In order to keep your teeth pearly white, drink fruit juice spritzers instead, or put light colored solid fruit. Ever heard the saying that an apple a day keeps the dentist away? Well, there is truth behind that.
The crunchy texture of apples - and light in color - are like a natural detergent on teeth and clean stains.
6. Popsicles or slushies
Many people love a refreshing ice cream on a hot summer day, but have you noticed the way your lips and tongue get stained? Well, if a food stains your mouth, it will stain your teeth too.
In order to avoid this, but still enjoy that refreshing drink, go for a light colored ice cream instead.
7. Soy Sauce
Dark drinks aren't the only culprit in staining teeth, dark sauces used to season foods, like soy sauce, can have the same annoying effect.
A general rule of thumb is that if a food can stain your carpet or clothing, then it can stain your teeth as well. If you eat sushi or Chinese food, substitute the soy sauce with another healthier option.
8. Balsamic Vinegar
This salad is delicious and a favorite of many people, but there is a price to pay for splashing it over your healthy salad. Being a dark color, you guessed it: it stains the teeth.
But don't throw away your salad, since lettuce helps protect teeth from stains. The reason for this is that lettuce forms a thin coating on the teeth that acts as a barrier to staining foods.
You can replace the dark colored vinegar with a lighter colored vinegar, or you can replace with lemon juice.
9. Tomato sauce
Many people love ketchup. Be it spaghetti marinara or bolognese. However, tomato-based sauces unfortunately can stain teeth.
What you can do is have a spinach or broccoli snack first. These vegetables, much like lettuce, cleverly form a protective film on teeth, so staining foods cannot seep into the pores of the teeth.
Blueberries are considered a superfood and are packed with antioxidants, but their dark blue skin can stain teeth. Just be sure to swish the water after you've eaten them.
11. Beets or beets
If you've ever eaten beets, you know they can stain. Especially in the form of juice, which is the way many people tend to consume it. So if you are a fan of beets, swish with water so the spots don't have time to form.
Curry is infamous for making teeth yellow. But we continue to eat it because it is so delicious and healthy and are reasons enough to find a way to get around that unfortunate peculiarity. You just have to follow the same advice as before: after eating curry, swish with water.
Simple ways to prevent yellow teeth
1.- After consuming some of the foods and drinks that have been mentioned, it may seem logical to go for the toothbrush and give your teeth a good brush. However, that actually does more harm than good, in some cases. Tooth enamel may soften after consuming acidic foods or drinks for at least half an hour afterward.
If you are brushing your teeth during this period of time, then you could be removing that weakened enamel. However, the enamel should harden within an hour, so brushing your teeth afterward with a soft-bristle toothbrush shouldn't do any harm.
2.- This may sound strange, but the more saliva you have in your mouth after eating, the better. Your mouth naturally produces more saliva after taking a drink of water when you have finished eating.
Saliva is the mouth's natural defense against stains, cavities and also against the erosion of the enamel that causes yellow teeth.
3.- Sugar-free gum is marketed as "healthy" for the teeth. However, most sugar-free gum contains aspartame or other potentially dangerous artificial sweeteners, so it is healthier to avoid it. Opt for a stevia-based gum instead.
Keto is a process that the body goes through on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. This is because this process provides us with energy from ketones whenever sugar is not readily available. In fact, you may have already experienced a very mild level of ketosis if you ever skipped a meal or two, didn’t eat many carbs during the day or exercised for longer than an hour. By doing one of these three things, you can initiate the process of ketosis.