3 Things Everyone Must Know About Yellow Smiles

Do you feel like your teeth aren't white enough? Have you been wishing that your teeth were a few shades whiter? A few hundred years ago, having bad teeth was sometimes seen as a sign of wealth because it meant that you had access to sugar, something that was extremely expensive at the time. Fortunately, we live in more enlightened times and know that having good teeth is something that is essential to health. When your teeth aren't quite as nice-looking as you'd like, you definitely have options. Some things that you might not know include:

Natural color: Contrary to what popular media might have you believe, teeth are not naturally a brilliant white. Instead, even the healthiest smile might only be an off-white sort of color without the assistance of a dentist. Certain medicines, especially when taken in childhood, can also cause healthy teeth to be discolored. If your teeth aren't as white as you'd like them to be, this isn't necessarily because of poor brushing and flossing habits. It may be poor genetics or due to environmental factors beyond your control. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the issue and help you to find a solution that works for you.

Too much brushing: Many people assume, incorrectly, that if your teeth are discolored that you simply need to brush your teeth harder, longer, or use better tools. But, as previously mentioned, this may not be the case. Your teeth may naturally have a yellowish tinge and, in actuality, excess brushing beyond what's recommended by your dentist may actually make your teeth look worse. Although your teeth seem solid, the enamel, which is where the white color exists, can still be worn away. Things like using a hard-bristled toothbrush or an abrasive toothpaste can contribute to the wearing away of the enamel to expose the darker-colored dentin beneath. Talk to your dentist about your brushing habits so that you can be sure that you're doing everything correctly.

Use straws: You may feel ridiculous drinking all of your coffee and tea through a straw, but if you really want your teeth to be white and to stay white after a cleaning by your dentist, you may want to consider taking this step. Using a straw means that your teeth will have less exposure to the tannins and other substances in coffee, tea, and similar drinks that cause your teeth to darken. One cup of coffee might not visibly cause darkening but repeated daily cups of coffee over time can make a huge impact. Using a straw will help ensure that your smile stays as white as possible for as long as possible.