You may long for a whiter smile, but are teeth naturally yellow? In a world where tooth whitening is increasingly common, especially among those in the public eye, it can be easy to forget what natural teeth look like.
So, are teeth naturally yellow?
Your teeth are made up of three different layers. Enamel forms the outermost layer, dentin is in the middle and the innermost layer is pulp. Not many people realize that it is the dentin, the middle layer of a tooth, which gives it color. For most of us, the dentin is a pale yellow but shades of red or amber are normal too. The enamel layer is fairly clear yet it has the power to affect the appearance of our teeth. For people with thicker enamel, the teeth can appear less yellow because the dentin does not penetrate so easily through the enamel. The color that we see is often more about the thickness of the enamel than the color of our teeth.
It is perfectly natural to have yellow teeth and this is not necessarily a sign of poor oral health, though in some cases it may signal that the enamel has eroded and that the teeth could be weak and prone to chipping.
How Can We Improve How Our Teeth Look?
Maintaining good oral hygiene regular tooth brushing and flossing, plus mouthwash can be beneficial. When it comes to toothpaste whitening toothpaste or activated charcoal toothpaste may help to remove stains more effectively. You should always check with an oral health care provider whether a whitening toothpaste is good for you as some can be abrasive.
Lifestyle changes can help improve the appearance of your teeth. Quitting smoking can make a huge difference, as can reducing consumption of food and drinks which stain the teeth such as coffee.
If you’ve already tried these options and are looking for alternatives, you may be considering tooth whitening. Whitening is safe if prescribed by an oral health care provider. This can make a significant improvement to the appearance of teeth which gives many people a confidence boost. You should be aware that tooth whitening treatment does not change the color of fillings and crowns; these would need to be replaced if you wanted to change their appearance. Common side effects of tooth whitening are sensitivity and gum irritation.
Be careful with procedures carried out by non-dental professionals or without a prescription. They do not have the same accountability as a professional organization so there is a risk the product may not be safe and could cause damage.
As everyone’s teeth are different, the amount of time needed to whiten will vary. You will also need to ‘top up’ the whitening occasionally as the color may relapse over time depending on your diet.
See teeth whitening for more information about our whitening products