Yellow Teeth Are Actually Stronger Than Bright White Teeth—Here’s Why

Good news: You don't need to spend another cent on teeth whitener.

TeethSubbotina Anna/Shutterstock
It seems that everyone strives for bright white teeth. There are whitening agents in toothpastes (which apparently don’t really do the trick), floss, mouthwash, strips, gels, and even chewing gum. Yellow teeth seem to get a bad reputation and are usually associated with poor oral hygiene. Fortunately, we have some good news for those who lack those pearly whites. Yellow teeth are actually stronger than bright white teeth! (Here are some of the things that are staining your teeth.)

We know, it’s hard to believe. According to sciencefocus.com, the enamel on your teeth is naturally a blueish white color and the dentine beneath it is naturally yellow. Since the enamel is translucent, the yellow shows through the blueish white. This creates a light grey or light yellow color. (However, if your teeth are significantly darker than a light yellow, there may be an underlying cause such as disease or tooth decay.)

The process of bleaching your teeth is what weakens them. “Bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide that diffuses through the enamel. It breaks down the compounds that are causing the discoloration, known as chromogenic compounds, and your teeth become lighter,”Adriana Manso, a clinical assistant professor in the Faculty of Dentistry, told The University of British Columbia.

“Bleaching products can have multiple side effects such as damaging the dental enamel, causing irritation to the gums, tooth sensitivity and more,” Manso adds. “Some of these effects are lasting; for example, the damage to the dental enamel is permanent and irreversible.” (Here are some ways to soothe sensitive teeth.)

If you still want to strive for those white teeth though, there are plenty of chemical-free routes to take that won’t damage your enamel—like eating these seven foods and or trying these 10 other ways to naturally brighten your teeth.

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