You may have noticed that your teeth seemed to have lost their luminosity and are not as white as they used to be. There are many things that contribute towards your teeth slowly losing their pearly whiteness, such as ageing where the outer layer of your enamel gets worn away to expose the yellow dentine beneath. As you age your tooth dentine grows decreasing the size of the pulp which in turn reduces the translucency of your tooth. Luckily staining teeth prevention is also a reality providing many ways to reverse old staining and help prevent staining in the future, to a degree.
We all would love to have a healthy white smile that lights up our faces. There are day to day steps we can take, lifestyle adjustments to prevent staining while we can also consult a dentist regarding whitening treatments to help counter the existing tooth stains. Whitening your teeth is always best done under the supervision and advice of a dental practitioner. Listed below are some of the main causes or reasons for discoloured teeth.
Unfortunately some of the food and drinks we consume stain teeth over time from the obvious staining food culprits such as tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar blueberries but even some starchy foods such as pastas and potatoes can cause our teeth to stain. Refined starch also has more sugar in it which is not good for our teeth either.
Just like food the beverages we consume on a regular basis such as tea, coffee, colas, red wines and cranberry juice, too stain teeth over time.
Long term nicotine use cause teeth to take on yellow or brownish hues referred to as ‘smoker’s teeth’, whether you are a smoker or chew tobacco. Not only does tobacco stain teeth but it has an adverse effect on your gums which can lead to gum inflections and gum disease. You should seriously consider quitting smoking if you want to have white unstained teeth.
Certain illnesses take a further toll on our teeth and impact our tooth enamel causing it to change colour. Some illness that cause tooth saining include calcium deficiency, liver disease, metabolic diseases and eating disorders to name a few. Certain medications too can discolour teeth including some antibiotics and mouth rinses and washes.
Accidents, sports injuries can damage the tooth enamel formation causing the tooth to discolour. Some impacts causes a reduction in the blood flow to the tooth or the nerve dies, all of which causes the tooth to discolour.
If you do not practice a proper dental hygiene routine and do not brush, floss and rinse your mouth regularly, plaque builds up which causes the surfaces of your teeth to stain and then lead to tooth decay which causes the affected tooth to discolour completely.
Too much fluoride
There could be naturally high fluoride levels in the water, or you could unknowingly be using an excessive amount of fluoride through toothpaste, rinses and fluoride supplements which can cause your teeth to stain.
Can stains on teeth be reversed?
Some stains can be reversed with patience and care and using whitening products such as whitening tooth paste while others can be sorted out through specialised whitening treatments that can be done for you by a dentist. There are other practical steps you can incorporate into your lifestyle to help you prevent staining your teeth.
Practicing proper oral hygiene – Maintaining good oral hygiene will help keep your teeth clean and healthy and by using whitening products prescribed to you, you can eliminate the risk to a great degree. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss your teeth and use an antibacterial mouthwash daily. Whatever you may have heard and however tempting do not try brushing your teeth with baking soda as it is abrasive and can damage your tooth enamel. Developing a good oral hygiene routine will help you remove and control plaque which is sticky and generally gives the stains something to cling on to.
Proper diet – As we have discussed eating or drinking food and beverages that cause stains keeps our teeth from looking their best. Try to drink water right after consuming such food or beverages to give your mouth and teeth a subtle rinse. If you can brush your teeth after a strongly coloured food item that would be best to avoid staining. You could use a straw when drinking colas or iced tea/coffee to minimise contact with your teeth.
Not missing scheduled dental check-ups – Dental check ups are very important to maintaining white teeth. Your dentist can do a thorough cleaning of your teeth while also advising you on the best practices to follow to maintain whiter teeth. They can also let you know if your teeth discolouration is owing to your lifestyle or if there is a dental health condition to consider.
Speaking to your dentist about a treatment plan – If you feel that you need a little additional help to start you on your journey to achieving whiter teeth and avoid staining your teeth, you can discuss with your dentist about the best treatment option for you and work out a suitable treatment plan.
A healthy white smile is something we would all love to have, something we all deserve. Whatever the reason for your teeth to change colour you can take steps to whiten your teeth and prevent them from re-staining. There are many whitening treatment options available to us today so that you can take practical action towards achieving whiter teeth with minimum trouble.
By adopting some of the tips given here you will be able to avoid staining your teeth to a certain degree and maintain your teeth, so they stay clean and healthy. A bright smile is one of our biggest assets and being able to do so with confidence is a gift you give yourself, making it more than worthwhile to make adjustments to ensure that you look after your teeth.