Yellow is a bright, happy, fun-filled color. . . unless it is on your teeth. Daffodils make us think of spring and joy, but we don't feel those kinds of feelings when we see yellow in the mirror as we smile. Yellow teeth can be perfectly healthy, but we generally feel more confident with white teeth. So, what causes yellow teeth and how can we prevent it?
Eating the Rainbow
Everyone knows that eating a wide variety of colors is good for your body—unless the colors are coming from Skittles and M&Ms. That rainbow—the one filled with food dye and sugar—may not be such a good idea.
Now let’s talk about the healthy, natural rainbow of foods. Brightly colored fruits and veggies are chock full of antioxidants that can prevent disease, damage, and premature aging. However, these nutritious foods have a potential downside. Fresh foods such as grapes, blueberries, cherries, and beets can cause potential stains.
So what do we do when the good foods can have a bad effect? It would be easy enough to suggest that you simply not eat or drink anything from the list of staining foods. If you just ate white bread, rice, and apples, then your teeth would stay perfectly white. The rest of you, however, might have some struggles. Eating a wide variety of colors is good for the body and it can be good for the teeth. Just follow up any colorful foods with plenty of water and, if possible, mouthwash or a toothbrush.
Drinking the Rainbow
When it comes to beverages, colorless water is your very best bet. Not only does it have zero chance of staining your teeth, it helps rinse off any staining food or drink you've enjoyed. There are a few beverages that are especially dangerous to your pearly whites. These include tea, wine, and coffee. These indulgences have the added punch of being both dark in color and acidic, so it is a bit of a double whammy. Still, being mindful of that effect and taking the time to rinse well after drinking can go a long way in preventing the staining damage.
So, Now What?
Knowledge is power, but we still have to deal with yellow teeth. How can we keep our teeth looking more like pearls than lemons? Well, to quote the great Maria Von Trapp, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. . ." The basics still hold:
Let's break that down a bit:
Brushing twice a day is sound advice, and adding a whitening toothpaste to that routine can take it a step further. Most whitening toothpastes use baking soda or hydrogen peroxide to help whiten your chompers. While you won't notice an immediate whitening after one brush, regular brushing will protect and preserve your white teeth over time.
Flossing won't necessarily whiten your teeth. But, this ounce of prevention packs a punch. Flossing removes the bits of food and bacteria that can get trapped and, if left unchecked, will create a breeding ground for yellowing plaque and tartar. It isn't glamorous, we know, but flossing is an unsung hero for whiter teeth.
Water is a wonderful rinsing agent. But, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash is incredibly helpful in maintaining a gleaming grin. It is not a replacement for brushing or flossing, but it is a heck of a sidekick and will catch the villains that the brush and floss missed. Plus, you know you love that minty tingle!
This might be the most important step in the recipe. Brushing is wonderful, but it won’t help much if we only do it every other day—even if we do it for 20 minutes at a time (plus, it might wear down your gums). It can take time to create habits, so be patient. If brushing is already a habit, but flossing is hard to remember, start small. Try flossing one day a week, then once that is a mindless habit, add one more day. Or, try flossing just one tooth a day! There is nothing wrong with starting small. Your teeth’s whiteness fades very slowly, so taking it slowly to get them back to where you want them will also take time. Just keep moving in the right direction.
These steps will go a long way in keeping your smile healthy, bright, and strong. Still, there are other steps you can take if you'd like to go a shade whiter than what standard brushing gets you. Here are a couple of home remedy ideas:
This one takes dedication. It is simple, natural, and inexpensive. You take one tablespoon of oil, coconut oil is a popular choice, and you pull it through your teeth, swishing it around your mouth. Here's the kicker: you keep at it for 15-20 minutes. That's a long time, but some people have found great success. Just be sure to spit it out in your trash can--coconut oil can solidify quickly and since your pipes are not trying to whiten their teeth, they might not appreciate being coated with coconut oil for a while.
Lots of whitening toothpastes include baking soda on their ingredient list. It is a natural abrasive and whitener. You can skip the toothpaste and put it directly on your teeth. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water and brush. Baking soda is also alkaline, which can help neutralize your mouth and prevent bacteria. And that, in case you are wondering, is a good thing.
These natural methods might work well for you, and they are a cheap and risk-free approach to brightening up your smile from time to time. If, however, the oil and baking soda approaches leave you wanting a shade brighter—or if you want a more efficient way to achieve gleaming, white teeth—we are here for you with our convenient, professional whitening systems that can be used at home.
One Click Smile is the result of years of research and testing. Its technology combines light treatment and hydrogen peroxide for safe and dramatic results. Let the daffodils corner the market on happy yellow things; we will help your teeth get back to that baby teeth white sparkle.