Teeth stains are completely normal! And, luckily, in most cases, a very easy issue to combat.
While gleaming, white teeth are not hard to obtain, everyday foods and other indulgences can make then difficult to maintain. Of course, there are many other factors such as tobacco use and even genetics that can impact the severity of stains adhering to or within your teeth.
Common Causes of Stained Teeth
Teeth are composed of enamel, a substance known to be hard but also susceptible to chips, nicks and stains. Tooth enamel is also typically coated with microscopic bacteria, resulting from consumed food and drinks that can eventually lead to plaque. When plaque starts to build up on teeth, that’s when stains really start to take hold and develop into a noticeable problem. That’s why it’s so important to practice dental hygiene daily, in addition to seeing a dental hygienist on a regular basis to help reduce plaque on your teeth.
Some of the more common foods and drinks that can contribute to plaque and eventual tooth stains include:
- Red wine
- Chocolate and other sugary candy and snacks
Other contributing factors to teeth stains may involve:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Tobacco use
- Other intrinsic causes, including trauma (these stains cannot always be removed)
- Genetics (these stains cannot always be removed)
How to Limit Tooth Stains
It’s impossible to consume only colorless food and drinks with zero staining agents. And, it’s just as hard to avoid the daily consumption of everyday items and other indulgences that impart stains. For that reason, it’s important to take steps to minimize stains by combating them before they settle in and cause discoloration.
But, it’s relatively simple to limit stains with good hygiene. Just by brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day, after meals, and flossing, you can put a huge dent in the potential stains building up on your teeth. And, when you visit your dentist regularly, he/she can polish your teeth to quickly remove surface stains.
If you’re really looking to make serious changes to prevent stains to your teeth, you should try to limit your intake of food and beverages that are known to cause stains, such as coffee, tea, soda, wine and sugary foods on the whole. You should also make efforts to maintain a healthy diet, as this will help ensure that your salivary glands are operating properly and creating enough saliva to naturally clean your mouth and the surfaces of your teeth.
How to Treat Existing Teeth Stains
Teeth stains can usually be cared for with bleaching to reduce any yellowish tooth coloring. However, after bleaching has taken place it’s important to limit factors that contribute to stains while the “pores” of your teeth are open as well as more sensitive to heat/cold extremes. Some of the different teeth whitening methods that you can discuss with your dentist include:
- Whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses – a good option for ongoing care
- Whitening bleach trays – a great option for home use
- Laser and Zoom whitening – a quick, one-time procedure conducted at your dentist’s office
If you’re uncomfortable with how stains have impacted your confident smile, it’s time to talk with your dental professional about options to remove the stains and limit them moving forward!
- ¹TuftsNow. (2016, March 18). What causes discolored teeth and is there any way to cure or prevent staining? Retrieved from https://now.tufts.edu/articles/what-causes-discolored-teeth-and-there-any-way-cure-or-prevent-staining
- ²Harvard Health Publishing. (2010, January). The aging mouth – and how to keep it younger. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-aging-mouth-and-how-to-keep-it-younger