Why are My Teeth That Color?
Who doesn’t want to have a nice white smile? After all, isn’t that one of the first things you notice about other people and they probably notice about you?
Are you disappointed in your smile because of stained teeth? Do you wish you could just brush them all white and shiny again? Well…maybe you can’t do that but there are some options that a dentist can discuss with you to help you get that “smile for the camera” smile back!
What Causes Teeth Discoloration?
There are actually three types of tooth discoloration, with different causes:
- Surface Stains – These are superficial stains that are easily removed by brushing. If they are not removed using regular toothpaste, a whitening toothpaste or professional cleaning by one of our hygienists should take care of them.
- Embedded Stains – These are stains that have literally soaked through the porous outer tooth surface (enamel). Coffee and tobacco stains fall under this heading. Look at the teeth of someone who has been a lifetime smoker, and you’ll discover they may well be a dark brown shade. Not very attractive at all! The normal aging process will also cause teeth to yellow. These stains cannot be removed through normal brushing or professional
cleanings. They require a special tooth whitening procedure in our office. We apply a peroxide gel that soaks into your teeth. The gel remains on your teeth for a certain time period, and it releases oxygen inside your tooth to eliminate the stain.
- Structural Stains – These are stains that were embedded in your teeth as they were being formed. Usually the biggest offender here is the prescription drug tetracycline, an antibiotic that was taken when the teeth were forming. Other stains may be genetic in nature, much the same as skin tones differ from person to person.Bleaching may help to lighten these stains a bit, but usually a more aggressive approach, such as veneers or bonding will be necessary to eliminate the stains entirely.
You Can Prevent Tooth Discoloration
You can assist in keeping your teeth stain-free, and especially after corrective treatment, you will certainly want to do all you can to keep that smile bright! For example, if you are a heavy smoker or frequent coffee drinker, you may want to eliminate them entirely, or at the very least, cut back on either one or both.
Make sure you are brushing and flossing each day and staying on schedule with your routine cleanings. If you are concerned about discoloration or need to schedule a periodic cleaning, call a participating dentist near you to schedule a cleaning with the hygienist and an examination with the dentist. You will look and feel confident with teeth you are proud to show through your winning smile!