Before discussing how to avoid tooth staining, you should first know why it occurs. There are a few ways for the teeth to become discolored. These include stains on the surface of the teeth, changes occurring inside the tooth, or just as a natural part of aging. Below are the most common reasons for tooth discoloration:
- Extrinsic Stains – External stains on the teeth only occur on the outer layer of the tooth, which is known as the enamel. Extrinsic stains can be caused by red wine, dark soda, or coffee.
- Intrinsic Stains – Intrinsic stains are caused when the inside of the tooth, known as the dentin, begins to darken or yellow over time. These stains most commonly occur if:
- You had too much fluoride in early childhood
- You took tetracycline antibiotics in early childhood
- There is trauma-related bleeding inside the tooth
- You suffer from dentinogenesis imperfecta
- Trauma occurred to the affected tooth during development
- Age-Related Stains – Age-related stains can be caused by both intrinsic and extrinsic stains working together. Dentin naturally yellows over time and the enamel will also wear down over time. This will make the yellow dentin more visible.
Certain types of discoloration can be removed at your dentist’s office; external staining is particularly easy to remove. However, if the staining is permanent, bleaching can be used to whiten the teeth. Worst case scenario, you’ll need a dental crown or veneer on top of the tooth.
Preventing Tooth Stains
The best way to keep your teeth sparkling white is to take good care of them. This includes eating a good diet and practicing effective at-home oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing daily, rinsing with water after meals, and visiting your general dentist for a thorough dental cleaning and a checkup.
The best way to keep the teeth clean and healthy is by having straight teeth. This eliminates the nooks and crannies where bacteria and plaque love to hide out. To schedule an orthodontic treatment for your child or yourself, please contact Garlock Orthodontics if you are looking for an orthodontist in Aurora, Colorado today.