Teeth stain removal may be on your mind if a cup of coffee or tea is part of your daily routine, as the stains these drinks cause can take a toll on self-confidence. Knowing how to prevent your teeth from staining means you can enjoy your favorite food and beverages of choice and still maintain those pearly whites.
Causes for teeth stains
There are several causes of tooth discoloration, including:
- Foods/drinks – Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables.
- Tobacco use – Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.
- Poor dental hygiene – Not brushing, flossing, and rinsing enough to remove plaque and stain-producing substances.
- Disease – Several diseases that affect enamel can lead to tooth discoloration. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration.
- Medications – Some antibiotics are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing. Antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and drugs for high blood pressure also cause teeth discoloration.
- Aging – As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth wears away, revealing the natural color of dentin.
- Genetics – Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others.
- Environment – Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources or from excessive use can cause teeth discoloration.
- Trauma – For example, damage from a fall can disturb enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing. Trauma can also cause discoloration to adult teeth.
Treatment to whiten teeth can vary depending on the cause of the discoloration and may include:
- Using tooth brushing and flossing techniques
- Avoidance of the foods and beverages that cause stains
- Professional whitening treatments
- In-home whitening agents purchased from your dentist
- Veneers: A dentist or oral surgeon puts a thin shell of material over the entire front of your tooth to change the color or shape.
Generally speaking, teeth whitening options fall into three broad categories. They include:
- In-office treatment: Your dentist will typically use a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening compared with at-home products. In-office treatment works quickly and the effects usually last longer than other methods.
- At-home treatments through your dentist: Some dentists can make custom trays to use on your teeth at home. You’ll add a gel to the tray and wear it on your teeth as recommended by your dentist. You may need to wear the trays for a few weeks to achieve results.
- Over-the-counter products: Whitening toothpaste and whitening strips may be able to diminish surface stains, but are much less effective on intrinsic stains that are located inside your teeth.
The bottom line is that tooth discoloration is common and can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons. Our team in Etters, PA is here to help, we love providing our patients with the care they deserve. We go above and beyond to ensure our patients feel comfortable and confident at our office. Contact our office today at 717.938.4646.