If you are like most adults, you probably have some teeth staining. This discoloration progresses gradually over time, and many people do not notice it at first. In fact, so many patients at our practice who ask us about tooth discoloration and remedies for it tell us they just “looked in the mirror one day” and realized their bright, youthful smile had disappeared at some point and they had not even noticed.
Although there are a number of ways to reverse teeth stains, it is important to realize some patient behaviors directly contribute to yellowing or brown teeth. You probably knew that drinks like coffee, tea, brown sodas, and red wines could cause teeth to stain, but did you know that there are some fruits and vegetables associated with tooth discoloration as well? “Vibrant” berries like blueberries and blackberries can cause tooth discoloration, and white grapes and cranberries may weaken your enamel over time and contribute to discoloration as well. If you consume large amounts of these foods or if you drink the “classic” offenders with regularity, you will probably have to deal with tooth staining at some point in your 30s or 40s, if not sooner.
Of course, cigarettes and chewing tobacco are also common villains when it comes to tooth discoloration. Nicotine products not only stain teeth; they actually make your tooth enamel more susceptible to discoloration in general. Nearly every long-time smoker deals with yellowish teeth, and if you leave the stains untreated you will eventually see your teeth turn brown. If you have nicotine-related staining, you will find most over-the-counter whitening products either do not work at all or do not last long. Most patients with long-term staining of this type opt for a fast office visit to have their teeth treated with peroxide or customized whitening treatments provided by their dentist to be conducted at home.
Finally, you might not realize it but your decision to skip your twice-yearly dental checkups could be playing a role in the discoloration of your teeth. Even without bleaching or other whitening procedures, regular dental cleanings every six months can help remove stains, plaque, and tartar that cause tooth discoloration. These cleanings also play an important role in preventing stains in the first place by keeping your teeth and gums strong and healthy. Since poor oral health is directly tied to a variety of long-term illnesses and diseases with treatments that can cause unsightly staining, keeping your six-month dental checkups will play a huge role in keeping your smile big and bright.
Learn more about teeth whitening and bleaching at PatCrawfordDS.com.