Having stains on your teeth can affect your confidence big time. While there are many factors that
contributed to teeth discoloration, most of it are controllable. You can control what you put inside
your mouth that affects the color of your teeth.
Hi, I’m Kelly, registered dental hygienist and I am here to talk to you about stains on your teeth and
what you can do to avoid it.
Teeth discoloration happen due to many factors and some of which are: your food and drink choices (coffee,tea), your oral hygiene and your medication usage. Teeth discoloration can happen on the tooth’s surface or below the tooth enamel. Some people have both.
Dental professionals have identified the three main categories or types of teeth discoloration.
These are the types of stain that occur on the surface of the tooth. Residue from food and drinks as mentioned above like tea, coffee, cola and wine among others, build up in the film of protein covering the tooth enamel. Smoking can also cause extrinsic stain. This type of stain can be removed by regular dental cleaning, proper brushing and using whitening toothpastes.
This is the type of stain that happens below the surface of the tooth. It happens when the particles causing the stain work through the exterior part of your tooth and builds up within the tooth enamel. This is trickier and more difficult to remove.
You may need professional bleaching products or whitening strips. Just be careful when choosing whitening strips that it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients that may cause more damage to your teeth.
Reasons why you have intrinsic stains in your teeth:
- Early exposure to flouride. You might have been using a lot of products containing flouride during your early childhood
- Mom used antibiotics like tetracycline during the second half of her pregnancy
- You had some trauma in your permanent tooth. An internal bleeding can cause discoloration on your teeth.
- You may had some trauma on your teeth when you were a child like falling flat on your face that caused some damage to your developing permanent tooth.
- You used antibiotics such as tetracycline before you hit 8 years old.
- You have a dentinogenesis imperfecta, a rare condition that causes a gray , amber or purple
- discolorations on your teeth.
This is a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Dentin, the core tissue of the teeth, naturally yellows over time. Teeth discolor over time. The enamel covering your teeth gets thinner as you age and that makes the dentin show through. Chips in your teeth and other injuries to your teeth can cause discoloration on your teeth especially when the pulp is damaged.
So, it is inevitable that your teeth will discolor at some point, when you reach that age, but the good news is, any teeth discoloration can be removed with professional cleaning. As discussed above, these are stains caused by coffee, tea or the extrinsic types of stain.
There are stains that can be permanent too. But don’t fret, there is hope. Teeth can still be whitened using whitening strips or bleaching gels. If the discoloration is just too much, your dental professional may require a veneer or a crown to cover it.
So how do you prevent teeth discoloration?
Brushing your teeth after every meal is still tops to preventing stains. Rinse your mouth water after consuming coffee,wine, tea or other food and drinks that strong coloring. A dental hygienist can also help you remove those surface stains.
But it’s a bit different when it comes to intrinsic stains because it can sometimes be caused by a damaged blood vessel or nerve. A root canal treatment to remove the pulp or the inner part of the tooth before it decay and darken maybe suggested by your dentist.
Avoid exposing children to flouride to prevent intrinsic discoloration in children.
How to remove the stains
Fortunately, there are many treatment options to remove the stains away. Some are just a few minor adjustments that you need to do with your dental oral health routine. Here are some of those:
- Daily toothbrushing 2-3x a day most preferably using an electric toothbrush
- Daily flossing
- Twice-yearly visit to your dentist
- Limit your intake of teeth-staining food or drinks
- Regular whitening maintenance
So there you have it. As a registered Dental Hygienist, I have my own recommendations which I am proud to say I have personally used.
Here’s my personal experience in using whitening strips.
For the whole list of oral care products , check my link below.
BURST Oral Care