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Posted on: July 15, 2021
Reasons and Remedies for Tooth Discoloration
Do you want a brighter, whiter smile? A dazzling smile can significantly impact your confidence and self-esteem in the best possible way. So, how do you achieve a brighter smile? And, what can you do to prevent tooth discoloration or stop it from returning? Keep reading to learn more.
Six Reasons Why You Have Discolored Teeth
Are you wondering why your teeth might be discolored? Take a closer look at these six reasons why tooth stains occur to get a clearer picture of what might be happening to your teeth.
- Prescription medications: There are many prescription drugs that can negatively impact the color of your teeth. These include blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and certain antibiotics, including doxycycline and tetracycline.
- Poor dental hygiene: Yellow teeth can result if you don’t brush and floss on a daily basis.
- Age: Did you know that your enamel gradually wears away as you age? Over time, the yellow tooth dentin becomes exposed, which causes your teeth to lose their whiteness.
- Smoking and using tobacco products: The longer you smoke or use other products containing tobacco and nicotine, the greater the risk of having stained teeth.
- Trauma: Experiencing an injury that affects your teeth can also impact tooth color. Damage to a tooth early in life can affect enamel formation, especially when kids experience an injury to the mouth.
- When you have adult teeth, trauma can decrease blood flow to the affected tooth, which can cause the tooth’s nerves to die.
- Daily habits: Surprisingly, the foods and drinks you consume daily have a significant impact on the color of your teeth. Some foods can prevent staining and others can make staining worse.
Which Foods and Drinks Stain Your Teeth?
Even if you try to practice good oral hygiene and follow a healthy, balanced diet, certain foods and drinks can still negatively affect the color of your teeth. Consume these foods and drinks in moderation to preserve your white smile:
- Beverages: A variety of beverages, including tea, coffee, wine, and soda, can stain teeth due to their high acidity. Light and dark-colored sodas can erode tooth enamel and discolor teeth. Coffee and tea are high in tannins, chemical compounds that are known for their tooth-staining properties. Both white wine and red wine can stain teeth. In fact, white wine is more acidic in comparison to red. Both can erode tooth enamel and stain your teeth.
- Balsamic vinegar: Frequently used as a salad dressing, balsamic vinegar can darken the color of your teeth. Due to its natural dark color, balsamic vinegar can stick to your teeth, quickly leading to the formation of stains if not brushed or rinsed away.
- Pasta sauce: The tomatoes in pasta sauce can discolor your teeth as a result of their bright color, high acidity, and tendency to stick to your teeth.
- Curry: Curry powders and spices are a staple in Indian cuisine, but they’re another common cause of tooth stains. Its deep color can cause teeth to yellow if eaten regularly.
Prevent Tooth Stains With These Foods and Drinks
To protect your teeth from stains and clean and brighten your teeth, add these foods and drinks to your diet:
- Cheese and milk: Milk and cheese are rich in protein and calcium, which are helpful in buffering acids in your mouth and preventing enamel erosion. Calcium can also strengthen the outer layer of teeth, helping to prevent the erosion of your tooth enamel.
- Nuts and seeds: Most nuts and seeds, such as walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds, have a rough texture that helps to buff away tooth stains and discoloration, which can make the surface layer of your teeth appear whiter.
- Water: Not only is water a top choice for keeping your body hydrated, but it can also prevent stains from developing on your teeth. Try drinking water throughout the day to lower the acidity levels in your mouth, and consider rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking foods and drinks that can stain your teeth.
- Apples: Most apples have a crunchy texture, which can clean your teeth and scrub away stains when you’re eating them.
Smoking and Tooth Stains
The burden of stained teeth is something that most smokers experience. For a healthier, brighter smile, dentists strongly encourage avoiding all forms of tobacco and smoking. If you’re not ready to quit using tobacco products or smoking, here are some tips that can help you reduce the development of smoking stains.
- Schedule regular cleanings at your dentist’s office.
- Focus on eating a healthy diet.
- Make sure that you’re brushing and flossing your teeth every day and using a mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
- To prevent stains from developing on your teeth, try to brush after smoking cigarettes or using tobacco products.
Dentist-Approved Options for Reducing Tooth Stains
With a variety of methods available for reducing tooth stains, you don’t have to hide your smile if you’re embarrassed about discolored teeth. Take a look at these options for whitening your smile:
- Whitening toothpastes: These toothpastes may remove light stains, but they can make your teeth sensitive and provide the least noticeable whitening results.
- Store-bought whitening kits: Over-the-counter whitening kits and strips are much weaker in comparison to in-office treatments, so they won’t provide the dramatic results you’re looking for.
- Whitening kits from your dentist: These whitening kits can remove most types of stains, but they’re considerably more time-consuming.
- Professional whitening treatments: Professional whitening offered by your dentist delivers the most dramatic whitening results in the shortest amount of time.
- Veneers or crowns: Veneers and crowns are ideal if your tooth stains are resistant to most whitening products and can completely cover up signs of discoloration.
Tips to Tackle Tooth Discoloration
To stop stains before they start, try these tips:
- Receive regular professional cleanings, which can help polish away stains.
- Try to brush after meals and snacks.
- If you can’t brush after meals, swish with water after eating or drinking dark-colored beverages.
- Brush at least twice a day and ensure that you’re flossing once a day.
Consider sipping beverages through a straw to prevent staining dyes from touching your teeth.
Speak with your dentist about which whitening method is best for you.