There is nothing more gorgeous than a beautiful smile full of white, shiny teeth. When you look in the mirror though, what do your teeth show you? If they’re less than toothpaste-commercial-white, you might feel a bit self-conscious.
Some yellowing over time is rather normal, especially as we age, but there are certainly ways to keep your teeth whiter and brighter. Often, it’s our lifestyle choices that can make an impact on the shade our teeth exude. If your teeth are yellow though, you may be less prone to smiling.
It’s definitely best to schedule a visit with your dentist over your concerns for your teeth. While you should be making a regular habit to get your cleanings done, you can speak to your dentist about your yellow teeth and how to turn them white.
Yes, there are many things you can buy online and just about any store that can help you whiten your teeth. However, your dentist should be the first place you go to determine if there isn’t any underlying cause for the yellowing. Once you’ve been checked out thoroughly, your dentist can recommend different options for you.
These options can be in-office whitening treatments, professional-strength whitening kits that you do at home, or even over-the-counter products. They all have plenty of advantages for helping you achieve a whiter, brighter smile that you’ll love to show off.
So, how long does it take for yellow teeth to turn white?
Experts suggest that it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 weeks for yellow teeth to turn white, depending on the concentration of the bleaching agent and the exposure time. Yet, the end result is determined by the whitening method employed, as you can’t expect to lighten your teeth for more than 1 or 2 shades with over-the-counter products.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to hide your smile away from the world anymore. Smiles are absolutely universal, something people do in every culture for a welcoming appearance. If you’re not confident with the shade of your smile, make it whiter and brighter and say goodbye to those yellowed teeth.
Keep reading and you’ll discover everything you need about your whitening options and how to gain back your confidence through whiter teeth.
Whitening options and time needed in each one to get rid of yellow teeth
In today’s day and age, there are so many options to white your teeth. Which one you choose will depend on what your dentist discovers in your mouth as well as your budget. The good news is that there are many solutions that span every price range so you don’t have to feel embarrassed about your yellow teeth anymore.
– Porcelain veneers
This option is one of the best, aesthetically speaking, and the most expensive ones, but it is well-worth the cost to get that smile you want. These coverings are, as the name suggests, made from porcelain. Your dentist will bond them to your teeth. This is also an ideal solution if you don’t like the shape of your natural teeth or if bleaching is not an option based on your dental problems.
Porcelain veneers can vary in price depending on your dentist and how much they need to work to make your smile perfect. It’s certainly worth inquiring about the next time you’re sitting in that chair to find out just how much of a dent it will put in your wallet.
Getting porcelain veneers is not painful during the procedure. You may experience some discomfort or even temperature sensitivity immediately afterward though, which will eventually subside. As these must be custom-made to fit your mouth and teeth, it can take a week to complete the process. However, it’s a wise investment because once they’re in, they can last you up to 20 years or longer, if you take good care of them.
When you get your teeth bleached by the dentist, a gel-like solution is used on your teeth. Once applied, your dentist will shine a light on it to activate it. It can be a little painful if your teeth are sensitive so alert your dentist if it’s bothering you. You must remain completely still while it takes effect though, which can also be uncomfortable.
To keep you from accidentally moving your mouth, your dentist will put a lip and tongue retractor in your mouth. While a bit unpleasant, the whole procedure takes around 30– to 60 minutes. After that, you get long-lasting brightness that will keep up as long as you make sure to take care of your teeth and watch your lifestyle habits.
– Dental strips
What’s great about dental strips is that you can wear them in the privacy of your own home when you feel like you could do with a boost of brightening. These are ideal if your staining is mild and you haven’t lost any tooth enamel, plus they can lighten your teeth about a shade .
You might like dental strips if your teeth mesh well with the size. Sometimes, if your teeth are smaller, the strips might overlap on top of your gums and cause a bit of irritation. Results also depend on the brand of dental strips you use and the strength of the whitening agent adhered to it. You can wear them anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes at a time. If you’re clueless, I’ve done the research and found that Crest’s 3d White is a one of the best options out there, check out the current price on Amazon.
Always read the packaging on the dental strips. And don’t forget that results really can vary with them, not just due to brands and the whitening agents they use but also with how yellow your teeth are when you start using them. They could take several weeks of use for you to see a difference.
If you want an easier solution you can try the GENIUSLabs teeth whitening kit some even claim it’s way better than dental strips especially if you have sensitive teeth like I do; it’s not only pain free but this device will provide you with incredible results that you’ll start seeing in less than a week of use while sitting there probably watching your favorite show.
– Tray whitening
This is a take-home procedure for whitening that your dentist can provide for you. You’ll need to visit the dentist first and if it’s decided this is a good option for you, your dentist will give you the full details of how to use it.
Essentially, you’re given trays to wear for at night or even during a specific amount of time your dentist may advise. These trays are designed to fit your mouth precisely for a custom-fit. Thankfully, the old ways of fitting trays with those horrible molds are long gone, but it will require you to get fitted. The trays are filled with a special whitening gel. Depending on the treatment, your dentist may specify that you wear it for 2 to 4 hours a day. It could also be required for several weeks. While it does take longer to get those results, you will have a gradual and natural whitening by a shade or tow to show off when all is said and done.
Whitening toothpastes can also help lighten your teeth by 1 or 2 shades, as they contain higher amounts of detergents then regular toothpastes. The key is to select one that features the ability to strengthen your enamel and remineralize your teeth. This seals any little micro-cracks which is where stains tend to stick. By religiously using a toothpaste like this, for example, Colgate’s Optic White, it protects your teeth from cavities and enamel damage which in turn, keeps stains away.
MI Paste is another one that your dentist can provide to you. It’s a bit different though in that you apply it to your teeth after you brush to help strengthen them, but it’s a good way to get teeth back up to good strength again, paving the way for the possibility of other whitening treatments in the future.
– Coconut oil
Wondering how people of ancient times took care of their teeth? They often used oil pulling. This method comes from ancient ayurvedic practices. It’s become more popular recently and for a good reason, it’s even proven efficient by science. Coconut is considered a natural way to cleanse the mouth and keep up oral hygiene without the use of chemical agents.
Coconut oil like this one by COCO&CO can keep your teeth looking white because it leaves them feeling slick. When they’re slick, they stains have nothing to adhere to. You’ll need to get it into a liquid state so you can swish it around you mouth. After a few minutes, you spit it out.
During the swishing process, the bacteria in your mouth becomes trapped in the oil. Since plaque traps bacteria, the whole swishing process gets all that gunk out. Once you spit it out, it leaves your mouth and results in a fresher, cleaner appearance.
As an added bonus, coconut oil is great for gums too. It’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, which is great news if you want a fresh mouth that’s free of bad breath. It also helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can lead to even more serious problems in the body (like heart disease for example).
What’s causing yellow teeth?
It’s certainly great to know how to get rid of yellow teeth and turn them back to white again. But if you don’t learn what’s causing them to turn yellow, you’ll just be back at square one. Again, having that conversation with your dentist about your dental health is the imperative first step.
Beyond that, there are things you might be doing in your life that can make your teeth yellow faster. Keep reading to see if anything you do on a daily basis might be the cause of your yellowing teeth!
– Certain food and drinks
What you eat and drink can easily turn your teeth yellow. The usual suspects of course are coffee, tea, red wine, and dark-colored sodas as far as beverages go. For foods, spaghetti sauce, potatoes, and even apples are major culprits for causing yellowing of teeth.
That doesn’t mean you need to forgo all your favorites though. With drinks, you can drink them through a straw which keeps them from making contact with your teeth. Being vigilant about rinsing your mouth out or brushing afterward can also help keep stains from these foods from sticking to your teeth.
Sometimes though, it’s just the hand you’re dealt. The gene pool can sometimes be a cruel place where tooth enamel can range from egg-shell in hue to yellow, or even to a bluish-gray! For people like this, you can watch what you eat and drink but you may still never fully escape from the unwanted coloring.
Not unless you’re completely vigilant with your dental hygiene. If anyone in your family has a genetic disposition to discolored enamel, your dentist can help you find ways to work around it to keep a smile on your face.
Smoking does so many harmful things to your body that it’s hard to understand why anyone still does it. While most people are aware of the effects smoking can have on health and on the teeth, many forget that chewing tobacco itself is just as big for creating unattractive smiles.
Quitting smoking and using oral tobacco products is one way to see more white in that smile. If you’ve smoked or chewed tobacco for years and are stopping now, a great incentive is to work with your dentist on helping you get a whiter smile that you’ll be proud to show off.
Other reasons why you may have yellow teeth
Above, we talked about things that you could be doing to yellow your teeth. Now, let’s delve into the other reasons your teeth might have turned yellow. These reasons might be something beyond our control, yet understanding if they are the cause of those stains can make it easier to find a way to get the white back into your smile.
– Certain diseases
Quite a number of diseases can ruin the enamel on your teeth. And what’s worse, some treatments you may have had can result in discoloration too. These things can go deeper down into the tooth in a deeper layer known as dentin.
If you’ve been diagnosed by your doctor for certain diseases, it’s important your dentist is aware. They will be better able to help you take control of your oral health and brighten your teeth.
Nothing can ever stop the hands of time ticking away. Not that you’d want it to anyway because that would mean this game is over. Still, just because you’re growing older doesn’t mean you have to give up and surrender to having yellowed teeth.
As time goes by, the enamel naturally thins from teeth, exposing the dentin. Dentin itself is a yellow color so once it’s exposed, it can’t be whitened. This might be when you’d choose to use porcelain veneers. Or better yet, stop it before it starts by working with your dentist to keep your enamel strong and retain that white, brightness.
Unfortunately, if you have certain diseases or illnesses, it’s highly-likely you have to rely on medications. Even things like doxycycline and tetracycline which are given to young children while their teeth are still growing can discolor teeth. Watch your mouth rinses too. Those that contain cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine lead to the browning of teeth.
Certain antihistamines (Benadryl, for example) as well as antipsychotic drugs lead to yellowing of teeth. And if you have high blood pressure, you count on your medicine for your heart, however you can also count on it to discolor your pearly whites.
– Dental treatments
When you have certain work done by your dentist, those things might not be able to brighten up when you whiten the rest of your smile. Your dentist will match it to your tooth shade at the time of those treatments. Things like crowns or fillings will not white like your actual teeth do.
Additionally, those veneers will not whiten as natural teeth do. It’s very important to take extra-good care of them if you should make the investment so they stay bright and white.
Environmental factors beyond your control could discolor your teeth. A prime example is when the water is treated with fluoride. While minimal amounts cause no harm, an excess of it can have the opposite effect on your smile.
Trauma to your mouth that affects your teeth can lead to a darkening color for the impacted tooth. Those that play sports should wear mouth guards to keep problems from arising. If a tooth is exposed to trauma, it will usually turn a dark shade, resembling that of a bruise.
If you’re unhappy with the smile you see in the mirror and want it brighter, there are many possibilities you can explore to whiten up your smile. For most people, it’s not too late to turn back the clock and get your teeth back to a beautiful white hue.
Don’t dream about having beautiful teeth. Make it happen! Start by scheduling your dental exam today and making the most out of your smile!