Everybody wishes for a healthy, white smile. Multiple factors can cause your teeth to darken, and teeth stains are also one of the most common signs of a dental problem. When many people hear the term “cosmetic dentistry“, the first thing that comes to mind is teeth whitening. Our goal at Cunning Dental Group is to provide you with a healthy and beautiful smile. Cunning Dental Group is here to provide the best teeth whitening we have to offer, whether you are a long-term tobacco smoker, a caffeine drinker with stained teeth, or simply want to improve your smile.
We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about teeth stains and whitening from dental patients.
1. What Foods and Drinks Can Cause Teeth Stains?
Foods that are bright in color are the most likely to discolor your teeth. Red pasta sauces, berries like blueberries and raspberries, and vibrant curries can all stain your teeth. Brightly colored drinks, like foods, are more likely to discolor teeth. Avoid red wine, coffee, tea, and even dark-colored sodas such as colas. You don’t have to eliminate these foods and drinks; just limit your consumption.
2. What are the different kinds of tooth discoloration?
Teeth staining can be divided into two types. They are:
Extrinsic stains: These occur on the surface of the teeth, i.e., on the tooth enamel. It is caused by plaque build-up on the outside of your teeth, particularly from pigmented foods and drinks such as red wine, dark cold drinks, coffee, and tea. Extrinsic staining can also be caused by smoking or chewing tobacco because they contain nicotine and tar, which can easily penetrate the pores of your tooth enamel.
Intrinsic stains: These take place underneath the enamel of the teeth. They happen because of dental trauma, tooth decay, or disease in your teeth, which allows the dentin to become more visible. Dentin is the yellow or brownish tissue layer beneath your enamel. Your enamel also thins with age, allowing more dentin to show through.
3. What can I do to prevent stains on my teeth?
A few lifestyle changes can help you avoid tooth discoloration. Consider quitting smoking and reducing your coffee and tea consumption. Maintain good oral hygiene by flossing once a day, brushing at least twice a day, using mouthwash daily, avoiding stain-causing foods, and chewing sugar-free gum between meals. If you must drink stain-causing beverages, use a straw to reduce contact between the beverage and your teeth. Also, visit the dentist every six months to have your teeth professionally cleaned.
4. Does tea cause tooth stains?
Yes, the answer is yes. Teas of all colors have been shown to erode enamel and stain teeth—even white and green teas, which are more likely to stain your teeth than coffee due to their higher tannin content. Green tea leaves a dull gray stain on teeth, while black tea leaves a yellowish stain. Herbal teas, like chamomile and hibiscus, can also cause tooth stains and discoloration if consumed regularly over time. Using a straw to drink coffee or tea reduces the staining effect significantly.
5. Is charcoal useful for removing tooth stains?
You could try using charcoal for teeth whitening because, due to its abrasive nature, activated charcoal may remove some stains from the enamel (the first layer of the teeth). Although charcoal has many useful applications, its effectiveness in teeth whitening has not been clinically proven.
6. Do braces stain your teeth?
Teeth do not get stained by the braces themselves. However, braces make brushing and flossing more difficult and, as a result, plaque and tartar can accumulate in the nooks and crannies between the teeth and the brace itself. This type of build-up can cause stains. Mild stains may be visible after braces are removed, but the braces do not cause them. Your dentist can advise you on the best method to remove these stains. You should always take extra care of your teeth while wearing braces and avoid using whitening solutions.
7. How effective are home whitening products?
The desire to experiment with DIY home whitening is understandable. There are various teeth whitening products on the market, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and pricing. Even though some popular whitening products will give you the results you want, no matter what you use to whiten your teeth at home, you won’t get the same result that a dentist can deliver with in-office whitening. Since your dentist’s teeth cleaning and bleaching methods are far more effective than DIY kits, professional whitening should be your first choice for the best result.
8. Is it possible to whiten your teeth permanently?
Oh, no, sadly. The whitening products you use on your teeth may act quickly, but their effect will not last forever. All teeth whitening options provide a temporary solution to the problem of discolored teeth. The more you use your teeth, especially to eat, the more the whitening effect fades. Since staining will occur over time, be prepared to repeat the process after a while. The durability of professional teeth whitening is largely dependent on how well you care for your teeth.
9. How do you extend the life of your teeth whitening procedure?
We have five tips that will help you extend the life of your teeth whitening procedure.
- Drinks and foods that stain should be avoided. Coffee, tea, and red wine can all stain your teeth. If you must, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth.
- Quit smoking and chewing tobacco because it can stain your teeth and have a significant impact.
- Maintain good dental hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly. Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and whitening toothpaste.
- Drink plenty of water. It keeps you hydrated and washes away bacteria and food particles that can cause stains.
- Maintain regular dental cleanings. Having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year will keep them looking their best.
10. Can you whiten dental restorations like crowns or veneers?
The short answer is “no.” Dental restorations, such as bonding, veneers, crowns, bridges, dentures, or implants, cannot be whitened because they are made of artificial materials, usually porcelain, which makes it effectively impossible to whiten once they are in your mouth. Whitening teeth can only be done on natural enamel teeth. If you are going to get a dental restoration, to ensure an ideal shade match, whiten your teeth before obtaining your crown. Although porcelain crowns are stain-resistant, dark liquids like coffee can stain them over time. When you notice a change in the color of your dental restoration, it is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist to review what options are available.
Some teeth stains are uncontrollable, such as age or childhood accidents, that disrupt the development of our tooth enamel. No matter what kind of staining you have on your teeth, Cunning Dental Group has a variety of secure treatment options that can help you get back your gorgeous, white smile. We recommend discussing any plans for teeth whitening with your dentist before making a decision. Contact us today if you have any questions, or would like to set up a consultation with one of our dental specialists. To schedule an appointment, call Cunning Dental Group at (855) 328-6646.