You may have heard of teeth whitening services at your dentist office. No doubt, you’ve looked at your teeth and noticed they may not be as white as you would like them to be. You likely have an idea how to “fix” it, but do you know what causes teeth staining and how to prevent it? Our professional dental team is here to answer these, and more, of your questions about teeth staining.
What causes teeth staining?
There are a few reasons for tooth discoloration including: food, drinks, smoking, stain-causing particles within the tooth enamel, and even simply aging.
How can I prevent teeth staining?
Prevention is pretty easy when it comes to stained teeth. Avoid certain foods and beverages that stain your teeth, quit smoking, and keep up with good oral care routines including brushing twice daily, rinsing with mouthwash and flossing daily, chewing sugar-free gum between meals, and seeing your dentist at least twice a year.
What foods stain your teeth?
Foods that are bright or bold in color are the most likely to stain your teeth. Red pasta sauces, berries such as blueberries and raspberries, and bright curries all can contribute to teeth staining.
Picture of berries that cause teeth staining
What drinks cause teeth staining?
Like foods, drinks with bold colors are most likely to cause teeth staining. Avoid red wines, coffee and tea, and even dark sodas. Daily consumption can darken your smile.
Do braces stain your teeth?
Sometimes mild stains are visible once braces are removed, but it’s not the braces, it’s the way the teeth were taken care of while the braces were on. Follow the other suggestions for preventing stains, and avoid using whitening products while wearing braces so you don’t over whiten the area of your teeth surrounding the brackets.
Are all types of tooth stains reversible?
There are three primary ways teeth are stained: surface stains; under the surface stains; and age-related stains. All three can benefit from teeth whitening processes.
How do I know if I need teeth whitening?
If you feel your teeth could be more white, talk to your dentist about whether or not they recommend the treatment. The condition of your teeth, as well as the cause of the stains, will help your dentist determine your best options.
Is teeth whitening permanent?
No, teeth whitening processes are not permanent. You may need additional future treatments, or can choose to limit the cause of your stains to prolong the whitening effects and prevent stains.
Are there any side effects to teeth whitening?
Some patients may experience sensitivity with their teeth after a treatment to reverse teeth staining. Over or misuse of whitening products can damage enamel and cause permanent discoloration.