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Why Do Our Teeth Get Stained?

Woman brushing her teeth.
A gleaming bright smile is one of the best accessories anyone can possess. But what if your dentition looks dingy? There are many reasons why your pearly whites may have a dull appearance.

Top Causes of Staining

Here are a few reasons for tooth disc[o]loration:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Smoking and other tobacco use
  • Stain-causing particles within the tooth enamel
  • Aging

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent teeth staining?

Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your teeth from getting stained. Avoid certain foods and drinks that stain your teeth, quit smoking, and maintain a good oral care routine. Your regimen should include brushing your teeth twice daily, rinsing with mouthwash and flossing once a day. Consider chewing sugar-free gum between meals, and be sure you see your dentist at least twice a year.

What foods stain your teeth?

Foods that are bright or vivid in col[o]r are the most likely to stain your teeth. Red pasta sauces, berries (particularly blueberries and raspberries), soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, all can contribute to teeth staining. If you want to enjoy these foods, be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterward to prevent the staining properties from taking hold.

What drinks cause teeth staining?

Like foods, drinks with dark or bold col[o]rs such as colas and coffee, are most likely to cause teeth staining. It’s also a good idea to avoid red wines and tea. Daily consumption of these drinks can darken your smile.

Do braces stain your teeth?

After braces are removed, sometimes mild stains are visible. However, it’s not the braces that create the stains. Rather, it’s the way the teeth were taken care of while the braces were on. Follow the other suggestions for stain prevention, and avoid using whitening products while wearing braces. That’s so you don’t over-whiten the area of your teeth that surround the brackets.

Are all types of tooth stains reversible?

There are three primary ways teeth become stained: surface stains; under the surface stains; and age-related stains. All three can benefit from different teeth whitening processes.

If you’d like a brighter, whiter smile that exudes confidence, ask your dentist about effective whitening solutions that get optimal results.

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