How do I avoid stained teeth?
Stained or discoloured teeth are possibly the most common complaint when a person is asked “what would you change about your smile?” So how do we avoid this common dilemma?
Teeth can be stained for any number of reasons and in a number of ways. In some cases avoiding staining your teeth could be as easy as watching what you eat, but in other cases, it may be unavoidable. To be able to effectively avoid discolouration, you need to be able to pinpoint the source.
What are the types of teeth staining?
There are two ways your teeth may be stained, with both types involving very different methods of correction. These types are:
- Extrinsic – Extrinsic refers to when the outer layer of the tooth has been stained. This is generally as a result of foods and drinks such as cola, coffee and wine.
- Intrinsic – Refers to discolouration which happens from the inside of the tooth. This usually occurs as a result of trauma to the tooth (including tooth decay). Intrinsic tooth discolouration also happens naturally with age as the dentin (inner structure of the tooth) naturally yellows with age.
So how do I avoid stained teeth?
Avoiding stained teeth begins with an effective, regular oral health regime, and regular dental check-ups. Regardless of if your staining is extrinsic or intrinsic, by daily brushing; flossing and rinsing you should be able to minimise tooth discolouration.
Avoiding extrinsic discolouration
Teeth will discolour to some extent with food and drink consumption; however some may increase the rate of discolouration. The following examples are known to be the worst culprits for tooth discolouration.
- Drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, red wine
- Tobacco: regardless of if you smoke or chew it, you will notice teeth discolouration
- Plaque: inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque will provide pigment in red wine and coffee the perfect platform to take hold of and stain.
On the other hand, some foods can actually help prevent tooth discolouration, these include:
- Seeds and nuts – due to the mild abrasiveness as you chew, they may rub the plaque off your teeth
- Apples – the crispness of apples helps strengthen gums, and high water content promotes salivation.
- Celery and carrots
- Milk and yoghurt
Avoiding intrinsic discolouration
Depending on the reason for intrinsic discolouration, you may or may not be able to avoid the effects. However, discolouration due to tooth decay should be able to be avoided with regular dental check-ups, as your dentist will be able to monitor your oral health and take preventive measures, stopping decay in its tracks.
What can I do if I already have teeth discolouration?
If you have already suffered discolouration and haven’t been able to shift it with twice a day brushing and flossing, then the first step is to request a check-up and ensure the staining is extrinsic. If it’s due to decay, you will need to consider restorative treatment. However if it’s extrinsic, teeth whitening treatments are an extremely popular choice. At Mullumbimby Dental we offer two options.
In chair whitening with take-home kit for $500
In chair whitening treatments only require an hour of your time for immediate, long-lasting results. After your treatment, you will be supplied with a take-home kit, so you can keep your results looking fresh.
Home kit including custom trays for $260
Our take home kit will require two appointments, during the first appointment we will take an impression of your teeth to custom-make your trays – this ensures you will gain maximum benefit from your whitening kit.
At your second appointment, you will receive your kit, which includes enough whitening product for 5 to 6 whitening sessions. To ensure the best results we recommend you apply the treatment for 45 minutes per session. Results may take a few weeks to be noticeable.
How do I avoid stained teeth? Mullumbimby, NSW
If you’ve been considering teeth whitening, contact our friendly staff on (02) 6684 2644 or contact us online to request an appointment.