Your face is the first thing a person looks at when you speak – and that includes your teeth. Having yellow or discolored teeth gives people a bad impression of your hygiene and can make you feel self conscious when speaking or smiling.
In the following article, we discuss various treatments for yellow teeth, including natural treatments, professional treatments, and how to get rid of yellow teeth overnight.
What causes yellow teeth and other discoloration?
There are several causes of discoloration, including the frequent consumption of soda, wine, coffee, and tea. You can prevent discoloration by avoiding these beverages, and you can minimize discoloration by drinking through a straw.
Another major, preventable cause of discoloration is tobacco use – this includes chewing and smoking.
The easiest way to keep your teeth white and healthy is by brushing (twice per day), flossing (once per day), and using an antiseptic mouthwash. You should have your teeth cleaned by a dentist every 6 months.
Less frequent causes for discoloration include diseases that affect the enamel and dentin of the tooth and certain treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation.
Other causes include:
- Doxycycline and tetracycline (in children)
- Mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride
- Drugs for high blood pressure
Genetics and age also play a role in the color of your teeth. Some people just have whiter teeth than others. This is due to the thickness of your enamel.
You can also expect your teeth to change color with age. As we grow older, the enamel covering our teeth starts to wear down. This reveals the natural color of the dentin, which is the yellowish material underneath the enamel.
Can yellow teeth become white? Yes!
There are lots of options for people with yellow teeth. Treatments range from gel strips you can buy at a pharmacy to professional whitening treatments that cost hundreds of dollars.
Keep in mind that whitening is ideal for people with healthy teeth and gums, but may not be appropriate if you have fillings, braces, or other issues.
Whitening Toothpaste & Whitening Strips: Crest 3D White
For many people, simply using a whitening toothpaste is enough to prevent stains. My favorite variety is Crest 3D White Luxe, which removes surface stains and helps prevent cavities. Crest utilizes polishing silica that is safe on enamel.
The Crest 3D product line also includes whitening strips, which are advertised as being able to remove up to five years of stains in just 10 days. A box of strips contains enough for 10 treatments. Each treatment takes 30 minutes.
Side effects include skin irritation, gum sensitivity, and gum discomfort. Do not use this product if you need dental work or if you have braces or loose teeth.
Handheld Devices: AuraGlow 5X Blue LED Light Teeth Whitening Accelerator Light
AuraGlow uses blue LED light to enhance the effects of whitening gel (sold separately). AuraGlow features 5 LED bulbs for a faster, brighter white.
This prodcut is designed to fit snugly in your mouth and features a built-in timer to help you keep track of time during treatments.
Purchase includes batteries but does not include whitening gel or mouth tray.
Natural Treatments: Activated Charcoal
If you’re looking for an all-natural solution for discolored teeth, I recommend FineVine Organic’s charcoal powder.
All you have to do is brush your teeth with the powder 1-2 minutes daily.
This product uses natural activated coconut charcoal powder to whiten and is safe for teeth, enamel, and gums.
- Activated charcoal: an absorbent substance that removes toxins
- Bentonite clay: helps remineralize teeth with magnesium, calcium, and silica
- Peppermint oil: kills bacteria that contributes to gum disease and bad breath
- Orange seed oil: helps remove stains, plaque, and tartar
Note: you’re going to want to buy a new toothbrush when you’re done using this product.
How to make teeth whiter overnight
You don’t necessarily need to go to the dentist, or even to the pharmacy, to get whiter teeth. There are some treatments you can do at home with common products that will give you whiter teeth fast. Here are a few ideas:
Apple cider vinegar
Mix ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water. Gargle with this mixture 2-3 times per week before you brush for noticeably whiter teeth.
Why it works: high acidity of apple cider vinegar helps remove stains.
Baking soda & lime juice
Combine 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1 teaspoon lime or lemon juice. Rub the mixture on your teeth using a toothbrush. Let sit for 2-3 minutes (no longer) before rinsing. For best results, do this twice per week.
Why it works: the abrasive properties of baking soda combined with the high acidity of citrus juice helps remove stains.
This one might sound a little weird, but it works! Start by peeling a banana. Cut off a small piece of the peel and use the inside of it to rub your teeth for 1-2 minutes; rinse. For best results, do this once per day.
Why it works: banana peels contain potassium, manganese, and other minerals that help remove stains.
Whiten teeth instantly
The only way to whiten teeth “instantly” is to get a professional treatment. This is actually the most popular cosmetic dental procedure in the world.
In-office treatment is usually referred to as “chairside bleaching” and in most cases requires only one visit. These treatments work, but they are expensive and can be harmful in the long-term.
How it works: the dentist will use gel or rubber to protect your gums before applying a bleaching agent. A bright light works with the bleaching agent to remove stains and whiten teeth.
Advantages of in-office whitening:
- Get same-day results
- Safe, controlled environment
- Very effective on discoloration caused by age, smoking, and consumption of beverages like soda and coffee
- Average cost is $650
- Not a permanent solution (discoloration will return)
Keep in mind that whitening does not always work.
Yellow tones respond well to whitening, but brown tones do not. Gray tones typically do not respond to whitening treatments.
Remember, whitening will not work on veneers, caps, crowns, or fillings. Treatments will not be effective if your discoloration is the result of medication or injury.
Click here to read my article on home remedies for dry skin.