Fact or Fiction? What You Need to Know About Caring for Stained Teeth

Teeth are exposed to a wide range of things day in and day out. Whether you realize it or not, this exposure leads to your teeth developing a yellow color and loss of shine. Stained teeth are more common than you might think. Knowing what causes staining and how to reverse discoloration may seem like a mystery, but we’re here to give you the facts.

How Does Staining Occur?

During someone’s lifetime, teeth will become discolored either due to poor habits or natural causes. Some of us are more prone to staining than others due to the thickness of teeth’s enamel. Underneath your enamel is dentin, which is the yellow colored interior of a tooth. When you have thin enamel, this yellow shows through which can attribute to a yellow or stained smile. When this dentin is exposed, the tooth is like a sponge and can easily absorb unwanted stains from our diet.

Staining occurs in three different ways:

  • Intrinsic: This is staining that is caused within your teeth’s structure.
  • Extrinsic: Staining can also occur on the surface from the teeth. This is most often from colored food and drinks.
  • The Result of Aging: Over time, our teeth naturally stain from exposure and enamel reduction.

Truth About Teeth Staining

So you might have noticed discoloration on your teeth. We’re here to help navigate what’s true and what’s a myth about stained teeth.

Fiction: Straws Protect Your Teeth From Staining

Straws may make it easier to drink your favorite beverages, but straws don’t exempt your teeth from staining. Just because the beverage isn’t initially coming into contact with your front teeth, the liquid will still move around in your mouth. Staining will still occur, no matter if you use a straw or not.

Fact: What You Eat or Drink Increases Your Risk

Our food and drink choices do affect how quickly our teeth will show discoloration. Some of the biggest culprits are red wine, coffee, and tea. It’s also important to be wary of what ingredients are in your diet. Foods and drinks that contain artificial coloring are more prone to staining your teeth compared to natural products.

Fiction: Your Teeth Are Naturally Bright White

As mentioned before, your teeth aren’t naturally sparkling white all on their own due to the dentin that your teeth is made up of. You might have won the genetic lottery, but in most cases, your teeth will lose their luster over the years. A solution to this is to have your teeth cleaned regularly and professionally whitened.

Fact: Acidic Foods Cause More Staining

Acidic foods eat away at your teeth’s enamel and cause more harm than good. Exposed teeth are more prone to sensitivity and staining. Once your enamel starts thinning out, you expose more dentin and it’s easier than ever for food and beverages to stain your teeth without the enamel’s protective shield.

Fiction: At Home Remedies Are Just As Good As Professional Whitening

You may find countless at home remedies to whiten your teeth, but you could end up harming your teeth or wasting your time. A popular method is to brush teeth with charcoal or baking soda. This is extremely harmful to your enamel because both of these products are abrasive. Instead of whitening, they scrub away your enamel and cause your teeth to become defenseless against cavities and fractures.

Fact: Professional Teeth Whitening Does Not Damage Your Teeth

Professional teeth whitening is the safest and best way to enhance the brightness of your smile and reverse staining caused by years of exposure. Your teeth will be protected during the entire procedure. If you choose to whiten at home, you may cause more damage to your teeth, leading to an appointment with the dentist, but for a repair instead.

How Can I Prevent Staining?

While we can’t guarantee that your teeth will remain white forever, you can take steps to ensure that your teeth are better protected. When you eat or drink acidic things, be sure to rinse with water and then brush your teeth to limit the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the acidity. You should also schedule teeth cleaning with our office at least twice a year.

Professional Teeth Whitening with Tower Dental

The absolute best way to reverse staining on your teeth is to have your teeth professionally cleaned by one of our doctors. Professional teeth whitening can last as long as five years, with proper dental care. If you are interested in having your teeth professionally whitened, schedule an appointment with Tower Dental today to restore the brilliance of your smile!

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