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Reasons and Remedies for Tooth Discoloration

Stained and discolored teeth can make you want to hide your smile out of shame and embarrassment. Find out all of the ways that you can treat and prevent this problem so that your smile can be as white as possible.

How Teeth Become Discolored

There are numerous causes of discolored teeth. Some of those causes happen naturally, while others are within your control. Trauma to a tooth, particular medications and aging are some of the reasons why teeth become discolored. As we age, the layer of enamel on our teeth wears down and exposes the darker layer of dentin that lies beneath. Tobacco use and food and beverage choices are other causes of discoloration and staining.

How the Things You Eat and Drink Cause Tooth Discoloration

Various foods and drinks can lead to your teeth becoming stained or discolored. The following foods are common culprits:

  • Sugary Beverages – Any drink such as soda, fruit juice or a sports drink that is full of sugar and acid that will erode the enamel away, making the teeth darker in appearance.
  • Dark Drinks – A dark-colored drink like red wine, coffee or tea can stain the teeth. The acids present in the drink can also wear down the enamel.
  • Sweet Snacks – Gum, candy and other treats that are full of sugar will eventually lead to the destruction of the tooth’s enamel and cause tooth discoloration.
  • Starch-Stuffed Foods – Starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, pastas, cereals and white breads are also comprised of sugars that erode enamel.

Eating Certain Foods Can Prevent Tooth Discoloration

Choosing to eat the right types of food can assist in preventing staining and discoloration from happening. You should eat a diet that is balanced and that includes a variety of nutrients. The best kinds of foods and drinks to consume include:

  • Water – This refreshing and healthy choice is the smartest way to prevent stained teeth. This is due to the fact that water washes away sugars, acids and food particles that will lead to worn down enamel and tooth discoloration.
  • Sugar-Free Drinks – If you desire to drink something other than water, a sugar-free drink is a good choice. This will also rinse out sugars, acids and food particles.
  • Milk and Cheese – Dairy helps to neutralize the acids present in your mouth by increasing the amount of saliva flow. It also includes calcium and protein, both of which will strengthen your teeth and make the enamel less prone to wearing down.
  • Fish and Flax Seeds – Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish and flax seeds are a great choice due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Anti-inflammatory foods can help to prevent periodontal disease from setting in.
  • Cocoa – This is another anti-inflammatory that has the added benefit of protecting you from tooth decay and erosion.

Has Smoking Stained Your Teeth?

Stained teeth are an incredibly common occurrence for smokers. There are many things that you can do to address this unsightly and confidence-reducing problem.

Get Caught Up on the Truth About Tobacco and Stained Teeth

One of the leading causes of discolored teeth is tobacco use. The best way of maintaining a healthy, bright smile is to avoid using tobacco of any sort. Not only does it harm your physical health, but it also leads to an increased risk of gum disease and stained teeth.

Ways to Smooth Out the Problem of Discolored Teeth from Smoking

Smoking is a difficult habit to kick. If you aren’t ready to quit, here are some steps that you can take to lessen staining caused by smoking:

  • Get your teeth cleaned by a dental professional a minimum of twice per year.
  • Brush, floss, and rinse with a mouth wash each and every day.
  • Brush after eating and smoking. This gets rid of stains before they can set in.
  • Consume a balanced diet.

A White Smile Is Not Just Smoke and Mirrors

You may think that there is nothing that you can do about tooth discoloration caused by smoking. However, there are a number of options available for you to whiten your teeth. Please be aware that the staining will most likely return if you continue smoking after your whitening treatments. Speak with a dentist about the below teeth whitening treatment choices:

  • Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes are simple to use and can improve some stains. They can also prevent future staining from occurring. The downside to these is that they can sometimes lead to teeth sensitivity.
  • At-home whitening treatments can also improve minor staining. However, they can also cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Professional whitening treatments conducted by a dentist work quickly and achieve dramatic results.

Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration

If you’d like to avoid stained and discolored teeth, there are a variety of things that you can do to prevent the problem. Follow the steps listed below to keep stains from setting in:

  • Keep good oral hygiene habits while at home. This means brushing, flossing and using an antibacterial mouth rinse every day.
  • Thoroughly brush your teeth whenever you consume a meal or a snack.
  • Rinse out your mouth with water if you consume a dark-colored drink.
  • Don’t put off receiving necessary dental procedures.
  • Have your teeth cleaned by a dental professional on a consistent basis.

Treat Discolored Teeth with These Helpful Tips

With so many teeth whitening options available, there’s no need to continue hiding your smile from the world. The most popular choices include:

  • Having your teeth professionally whitened at your dentist’s office. This is the best option to utilize if you want a fast-acting treatment that provides dramatic results.
  • Using an at-home whitening kit provided by your dentist. This works for most stains but takes longer than in-office whitening treatments.
  • Purchasing an over-the-counter whitening kit to use at home. These are weaker than the professional kits you can receive from your dentist. The results won’t be as dramatic as a professional treatment and it will also take longer to achieve the results you desire.
  • Tooth whitening toothpastes are able to get rid of minor stains.
  • If you have discoloration or staining that can’t be treated with these products, you may wish to receive dental crowns or veneers.

Speak with your dentist to find out the option that works best for you and your tooth whitening needs.

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