At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Yellow or stained teeth can come about due to several different causes. In some cases, stained teeth are the result of poor dental hygiene. At other times, personal habits such as smoking make all the difference in the appearance of the teeth. Even the consumption of certain foods and beverages play a role in whether the teeth are gleaming white or a dull yellow. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with yellowed teeth and restore your smile.
One of the best ways to achieve whiter teeth is to take a long look at how you go about brushing your teeth. It may be that you do not spend enough time with the process, or that the products you use do not effectively remove plaque and other buildup from the surface of the teeth and gums. Make sure you are using a good quality toothbrush, and always replace it once the bristles begin to wear out. Some dentists recommend the use of electric toothbrushes in order to deal with stained teeth.
If your brushing habits are adequate and your toothbrush is not worn out, the answer to getting rid of stained teeth may lie with your choice of toothpaste. Consider trying a teeth whitening gel instead of your usual brand. Brushing teeth with a toothpaste or gel that has tooth whitening ingredients can produce results in as little as a week.
Flossing is also very important when dealing with stained teeth. Taking the time to floss helps to remove plaque that is between teeth and may be difficult to remove even with the best toothbrush and toothpaste. Flossing takes very little time and can make a huge difference in the appearance of your teeth. As a bonus, it will also help to improve the scent of your breath.
There are also over the counter teeth whitening products that help to restore stained teeth to a more pleasing appearance. Some of these products are constructed to adhere to the teeth for several minutes, then be removed. Others are solutions that are applied to the teeth and immediately rinsed off. Following the directions included with the product can often make it possible to see a difference in the stained teeth within a few days.
Depending on the severity of the yellowed teeth, it may be necessary to undergo treatment with a dentist. Bleaching compounds can be used safely by the dentist, helping to restore your teeth to a whiteness that has not been apparent for several years. There are also methods that involve the application of hydrogen peroxide and exposure to controlled light. While relatively expensive, these teeth whitening methods tend to produce results that last for a longer period than over the counter measures.
Once your stained teeth are clean, it is important to make lifestyle changes to keep them that way. Make is a point to brush after each meal. Floss daily. If you must drink coffee or tea, take the time to rinse your mouth with mouthwash or even a little water after enjoying a cup. A little prevention will help keep your teeth looking clean and white for a long time to come.