Avoid Teeth Staining With These 7 Tips

The increasing number of teeth whitening products reveals Americans’ concern about having whiter teeth. Whiter teeth and a brighter smile can help you make a better first impression, increase your confidence, and keep you looking younger. Although teeth can discolor easily, there are simple steps you can take to avoid teeth staining. Keep reading to learn about the common causes of tooth discoloration and how you can avoid them.

To learn more about our cosmetic dental services, schedule an appointment at Trident Dental for a comprehensive oral examination and professional teeth cleaning.

Types of Teeth Staining

Teeth can discolor due to age, intrinsic staining, and extrinsic staining.

  • Age. As you age, tooth enamel gets thinner, and your teeth appear darker. You can affect the rate at which this happens by modifying your diet and avoiding abrasive oral hygiene products, such as hard-bristled toothbrushes.

  • Intrinsic staining. These discolorations occur on the inside of teeth. They can be caused by medications, such as tetracycline, taken during pregnancy or ingesting too much fluoride during childhood. Trauma can also cause intrinsic staining by damaging the dental pulp, causing bleeding and staining in the tooth. Intrinsic staining cannot be removed with bleaching and other surface treatments. 

  • Extrinsic staining. These are superficial discolorations that affect the outer layer of teeth or the enamel. Extrinsic stains are not permanent like intrinsic ones. However, these stains cannot be removed by brushing your teeth.  Although intrinsic stains may be out of your control, you can take steps to prevent those on the enamel surface of your teeth.

7 Simple Tips to Avoid Discolored Teeth

There are several ways you can prevent and reduce teeth staining, such as:

  1. Brushing twice daily. Brushing at least twice daily for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush prevents plaque buildup and removes stains from food. While this recommendation will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, you may need more frequent brushing to prevent stains. Depending on the foods and beverages you consume, more frequent toothbrushing may be necessary to keep your teeth white.

  2. Cleaning between your teeth. While flossing is essential to prevent gum disease, it can also help prevent staining the tooth surfaces between teeth. Using devices such as interdental brushes can also keep your gums healthier and your teeth whiter.

  3. Avoiding tobacco products. Smokers typically have stubborn tooth stains due to nicotine and tar. Although smoking causes many medical and dental problems, the public views discolored teeth as the most apparent dental sign of smoking.

  4. Reducing foods that cause stains. Unfortunately, many popular foods and drinks easily stain teeth. These include coffee, tea, tomato sauce, dark berries, colas, and soy sauce. Rinsing water after you eat and brushing thirty minutes later can help minimize staining.

  5. Drinking through a straw. Drinking beverages, such as tea and cola, through a straw decreases the drink’s contact with your front teeth. This may not eliminate staining, but it can help reduce it.

  6. Waiting thirty minutes before you brush. Acidic foods such as meat, dairy, and eggs remove minerals from the enamel of your teeth. This demineralized surface is susceptible to removal until minerals from your saliva become incorporated into the enamel. This process takes about thirty minutes.

  7. Visiting your dentist regularly. Regular dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings can ensure surface stains are removed before becoming more of a problem.

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The oral health professionals at Trident Dental have several treatments for improving discolored teeth, including professional cleaning, dental veneers and crowns, bonding, and professional teeth whitening using custom bleaching trays.

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