| 04/25/13

Millions of dollars are spent each year by average people wanting Hollywood white teeth. What causes yellow teeth? Should yellow teeth be a cause for alarm? How can teeth be transformed from yellow to white?

Poor Oral Hygiene

Teeth may appear yellow due to poor oral hygiene. Plaque can accumulate and stick to the teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar. This can cause them to have a yellow appearance. To remove plaque, teeth should be brushed and flossed every day. Regular dental cleanings will also remove plaque and tartar.


Just as there are a variety of hair, skin, and eye colors, there are also a variety of teeth colors. Genetics affect every detail about us. Some people are born with naturally darker colored teeth.

Many common foods and beverages may stain teeth and cause them to look discolored. Some common culprits are: coffee, tea, colas, and berries. These stains can be removed with professional dental cleanings. They will however reappear in time if the same foods and drinks are regularly consumed.

With age come many changes. That includes darkening of the teeth. Most of us had whiter teeth when we were younger. This could be because of long term habits, like smoking, or from years of coffee drinking. Yellowing of teeth with age is not a cause for alarm.

What can a person do if they are unhappy with discolored teeth? Cosmetic dentistry has become very popular. There are conservative and invasive ways to transform teeth from yellow to white.


Professional whitening products contain different variations and strengths of peroxide to whiten teeth. There are three main ways to have your teeth professionally whitened. The least expensive way is to use preformed, prefilled trays. These are top and bottom trays filled with whitening gel. They are inserted and worn for 15 minutes to an hour. Another option is to have custom trays made. The patient is given syringes of whitening gel to put in the trays and wear at home. Depending on the strength of the gel, they are worn anywhere from 15 minutes to overnight. The advantage of this method is that the trays can be reused for years. The patient can simply repurchase more whitening gel. If you have a class reunion or a wedding to attend and want to brighten your smile, it is easy to do. The final whitening method is in office whitening. This takes about one hour to complete and can give instant results.

Crowns and Veneers

Crowns and veneers are a more aggressive way to eliminate yellow teeth. Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are bonded to the front of teeth. Crowns are similar but cover the entire tooth. Teeth sometimes have to be cut to do veneers and crowns. This can leave them susceptible to pulp damage. A full cosmetic case with crowns and veneers would cost several thousand dollars.

For some yellow teeth can be an embarrassment, for others they are no big deal. Yellow teeth are not a health concern, but if they bother you there are many options available to change them, schedule an appointment to figure out what option will work best for you!

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