Avoid Staining your Teeth

Pearly whites gone dingy are one of the most common complaints dentists hear from their patients. What really causes stained teeth?
Tobacco, whether it’s smoked or chewed, is one of the worst offenders. Coffee, tea, and sodas are causes as well. Other possible reasons include fruit juices, red wine, fruits such as blueberries, soy sauce, and curry. Think of it this way: If a food or drink can leave permanent stains on clothes, it can probably stain your teeth as well.
Aging also contributes to the yellowing of teeth. The enamel, which is the hard outer coating of your teeth, wears down, allowing the layer under the enamel of yellowish dentin to show through. Some people go right ahead and take matters into their own hands, risking damage to their teeth and gums in the process. Before you can safely take action, you have to understand what kinds of stains are dulling your teeth. And you need to be realistic in what you seek: Even the healthiest, most maintained teeth are not completely white.
Only your dentist can correct deep stains, through the use of cosmetic procedures such as porcelain laminate veneers (which cover the colored area with an opaque material). Stains from food and drinks can often be removed with a professional dental cleaning. Another option is in-office bleaching.
Keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing every day. But don’t get carried away; brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled brush can create grooves in the teeth at their roots. You can brush with a light touch and still do a thorough cleaning job. Have you ever notice how stained teeth look worse around the edges? That’s because the plaque (a thin, nearly invisible layer of bacteria and food debris) that gathers between teeth and at the gum line attracts stains like a magnet. Limit plaque with flossing, and you’ll fight those stains, too.
Be wise about beverages. Coffee, along with tea and sodas, do the same thing to your teeth. When you indulge in these beverages, do so in one sitting or in about 15 minutes, rather than sipping drinks throughout the day. And rinse with mouth wash after drinking them.
Use a straw. Sipping iced tea, soda, and fruit juices through a plastic straw will reduce your exposure to these staining beverages.
Use stain-removing toothpastes with caution, designed to bush away tobacco, coffee, and other stains on the teeth, they are generally abrasive and should be avoided in all unless you have the most serious cases of stained teeth. Dentists usually recommend using these products no more than two or three times a week.
If you have any questions or concerns about whitening your teeth, please give us a call at 630-271-9999.



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