Stains and discoloration can cause you to feel anxious or self-conscious about your smile. It may make you cover your teeth when you laugh or cause you to avoid smiling altogether.
Why do teeth become stained in the first place? In some cases, dietary choices can be the cause (such as the foods you eat and the beverages you drink). For some dental patients, lifestyle choices may be to blame (such as smoking or chewing tobacco).
These are instances in which tooth discoloration can be avoided – but there are many others where it may not be so easy. In the sections below, we’ll look at some of the most common reasons that your teeth can become stained to help you keep your pearly whites as vibrant as possible.
Foods and beverages
The foods that you eat and the beverages you drink can play a big role in how white – or how discolored – your teeth are. That’s because certain foods can affect the acidity in your mouth, which weakens your enamel and makes it easier for stains to set in. To keep your teeth as white as possible, limit your consumption of stain-inducing foods and beverages as much as possible. These include:
- Tea (especially black tea)
- Soft drinks
- Tomato and curry sauces
- Energy drinks
- Dark fruits and berries
It’s no surprise that tobacco is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to staining teeth. Stains from cigarettes and chewing tobacco are caused by nicotine and tar, resulting in deep-set yellow stains. Even e-cigarettes can cause staining over time. While over-the-counter whitening products can sometimes combat yellowed teeth, nicotine stains often require in-office whitening treatments.
Some diseases halt the development of tooth enamel as a side effect, weakening that white protective layer and making it easier for discoloration to develop. This often happens due to radiation or chemotherapy, but it can also occur in metabolic diseases or genetic diseases.
It’s no surprise that your body goes through many changes as you get older, and that includes your tooth structure and health. As you age, your white, protective layer of enamel wears away. This exposes the yellow dentin, which provides support for the enamel and protects the pulp from bacteria. Less enamel means that your teeth will be more likely to appear yellow or discolored.
Poor dental hygiene
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash daily are all great ways to ensure that your enamel is protected from discoloration due to bacteria, plaque, or food. But even the most thorough of daily routines can’t always protect against tartar and plaque! Regular cleanings from your dentist are crucial to ensuring that your teeth do not become discolored from a buildup of plaque and food stains.
Tooth discoloration can cause you to hide your smile, avoid photographs, or feel less confident in day-to-day activities. The good news is that there are many ways to combat tooth discoloration – and in some cases, you can prevent it altogether! Don’t let tooth discoloration stop you from having a beautiful, glowing, and confident smile. Please make an appointment with TruBlu Dentistry today: we’ll put together the best treatment plan for you to keep your teeth healthy and white for years to come.