How to Prevent Teeth Stains
Definition of Dental Stains
Very simply, the discoloration of your teeth due to a variety of factors. Dental stains can be broken down into two categories:
- Extrinsic staining – Pigmented deposits found on the tooth surface that are caused by topical or external agents.
- Intrinsic staining – Stains incorporated within the tooth structure.
- Causes of Stains on Teeth:
- Extrinsic staining
- Foods and beverages
- Certain types of bacteria and topical medications
- Enamel defects
- Salivary dysfunction
- Poor oral hygiene
- Small grooves, pits or fissures in the tooth surface.
- Intrinsic staining:
- Dental restorations (i.e. corroded amalgam fillings)
- Dental decay
- Trauma to a tooth
- Necrotic or infected nerve
- Medications (i.e. Tetracycline)
- Genetic defects
- Hereditary diseases such as hypocalcification or fluorosis that affect dentin and enamel development
Treatment Options for Teeth Stains:
In-office: Extrinsic Staining:
- Professional teeth cleaning – Keeping up with your regular recall appointments will help keep stains to a minimum.
Professional whitening – We offer in-office, at-home and over the counter options to meet your needs. Read more here!
- This type of stain requires permanent restoration – i.e., replacing an old amalgam filling or placing a new veneer/crown/etc.
In some cases of hypo calcification and fluorosis, microabrasion can be performed. When in conjunction with in-office whitening, desired results MAY be achieved. This depends on the depth of the stain.
At-home: Extrinsic Staining only:
- Watch what you eat! Keep track of how much stain occurs how frequently with different foods/beverages and reduce consumption accordingly. Anything that can stain a white shirt can stain your teeth!
- Rinse with water after consuming dark, sugary and acidic foods
- Don’t smoke!
- Consider shorter recalls – getting a professional cleaning more often can reduce your overall amount of stain.
- Brushing at least 2 times a day- especially after consumption of staining agent. Consider an electric toothbrush!
- Over the counter whitening products (whitening strips, toothpaste, rinses etc.) If you choose to use a whitening toothpaste, we recommend using a sensitive whitening toothpaste brand such as Sensodyne Whitening to prevent gum sensitivity and recession.