Keeping your teeth young
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Keeping your teeth young

As we get older suddenly we realised many things we didn't appreciate about being young - being fit, having smooth skin and having all your own teeth. As our loose teeth (and bridges) struggle to deal with chewier food we start eating bland mush and, there is no easy way to say this, OLD PEOPLE FOOD. I'm determined not to let that happen to me and I'm doing everything I can to keep my own teeth as long as possible, and when that's not possible to get the best possible teeth replacement. If you are like me and want to keep on eating whatever you want, I think you'll like my site. It's all about dental health and teeth replacement & maintenance.

Keeping your teeth young

What you need to know about yellow teeth

Mabel Hicks

Whether a result of your dietary habits or reasons out of your control, teeth discolouration can be a headache. Sometimes even the usual task of brushing twice a day and flossing regularly doesn't seem to do anything to improve the yellowed appearance. While consulting your dentist is a good step in the right direction when it comes to properly whitening your teeth, there are a number of other useful things to know to make combating yellow teeth easier. 

How do yellow teeth occur?

Teeth discolouration can occur at both surface and deeper levels within the tooth. The most common suspect is diets consisting of significant amounts of sugary foods and drinks, caffeine, tea, alcohol such as red wine, acidic fruits like oranges, tobacco and even certain antibiotics and medications that you take. Not only can these sort of foods and drinks cause staining on the outside of your teeth, but they also contain acids that speed up the wearing away of your tooth enamel. This enamel is hard and protective and covers dentin, which is a light brown substance that exists underneath it. While thicker enamel can appear white, thin enamel is more likely to be transparent and therefore shows the dentin beneath, causing yellow teeth. In other people, yellow teeth are simply hereditary.  

How can you prevent discolouration? 

In oral hygiene as in anywhere else, prevention is the best cure. Adopting a diet in which the aforementioned foods and drink are consumed modestly lowers the speed of enamel erosion. Avoiding smoking, using straws to drink sodas and alcohol, thereby having the damaging substances bypass your teeth altogether, and limiting snacks between meals in order to let your saliva dilute any acids in your mouth, also helps. Consuming water or milk, and obviously brushing and flossing regularly, also works to this end. As always, asking the family dentist for more advice would also be a useful course of action. 

Whitening teeth

Certain over the counter products, such as specialised toothpastes, strong mouthwash and whitening powders, exist and are designed to remove surface staining and act as a sort of mild bleach for yellow teeth. Similarly, your dentist can provide teeth whitening kits to use over a longer period of time at home or have you undergo an hour long chemical bleaching procedure during your dental visit. In any case, your dentist will tailor a solution to your particular situation. As long as you're willing to put in the time and money, white teeth are almost always attainable.