Who wouldn't want their teeth to look their brightest and whitest? Many people with healthy smiles are frustrated because their teeth are discolored. Patients ask, "Why do my teeth become stained if I brush my teeth everyday?"
Teeth can be stained for many reasons, including what a person eats.
One culprit of dental staining cannot be avoided - food and beverages. Acidic food softens tooth enamel, making it more prone to staining. Some foods also contain high levels of tannins. Tannins assist molecules called chromogens, which have a great affinity for enamel.
This is not to say that you can never eat any acidic or tannin-containing foods. They can be included in a balanced diet - with an emphasis on balance! According to the New York University School of Dentistry, these favorites contribute to dulling and staining the teeth:
Red and white wines
Black and white teas
Cola and other carbonated beverages
Juices such as blueberry, cranberry, cherry, grape and pomegranate
Whole berry desserts, such as pies, using the above fruits
Tomato, soy and curry sauces
Confections such as popsicles and hard candies
Dr. Mario Maritato recommends that food and drink which stain should be swallowed as soon as possible. While a person should not eat fast, he should not hold food in his mouth longer than necessary. Also, people should drink soda and juices with a straw so the liquid does not land on the front teeth. After a meal, diners should swish their mouths with water or chew sugarless gum to remove residues.
Some Medications Can Stain Teeth.
The staining properties of the antibiotic Tetracycline is has been well publicized. It can permanently discolor a baby's teeth when taken by a pregnant woman, and as such, the drug is no longer prescribed during pregnancy. Other antibiotics such as Augmentin and Cipro can also stain teeth. Talk to your doctor when taking a new antibiotic about whether it might stain teeth over long-term use, so that you have an opportunity to anticipate staining problems before they start.
Tobacco Use Doesn't Just Stain Walls!
Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes cause brown and yellow discoloration of enamel. (It's another good reason to quit those habits). Also, a blow to the teeth can make them look yellow or gray as trauma affects the dentin layer. While this discoloration may resolve by itself, dental trauma should always be examined by a dentist.
Your Dentist Can Help Those Stains
Dental whitening is a popular, safe and effective way to brighten your smile. Many quality whitening toothpastes improve tooth color, but for deeper and more lasting whitening, a dentist can help.
In-office whitening with a bleaching agent can dramatically improve tooth color. For more stubborn staining and other cosmetic issues, a dentist may place porcelain veneers on the surface of the teeth.
For a wide range of restorative, preventative, and cosmetic dental services, visit the office of Dr. Mario Maritato. Dr. Maritato and his team serve the Kenosha, Wisconsin area. Do your teeth need whitening? Call for an appointment at 262-657-0504.