Tips for Removing Teeth Stains
Around the world, brilliant white teeth are in demand. A bright smile is a sign of health and vitality. The reality is that our teeth are susceptible to staining, such as from foods, smoking, or age. Even some medications can cause our teeth to take on an unsightly color. The cosmetic dental industry offers a wide range of tooth whitening procedures to help people look and feel their best, but there are several unique ways of removing tooth stains that anyone can try.
What Causes Tooth Stains?
In our everyday lives, our teeth are exposed to a variety of things that can cause temporary or even permanent stains. There are three types of tooth stains: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related. Extrinsic stains are those that affect the outer enamel layer of the teeth. Drinks like coffee and red wine are notorious for staining the teeth, causing the external enamel layers to become discolored. Smoking can also cause extrinsic staining.
Intrinsic stains are those that affect the inner structures of the teeth, in particular the dentin, which gets darker or takes on a yellowish tone. Certain medications, such as antibiotics, as well as excessive amounts of fluoride, can darken the inner layers of the teeth. Trauma to the teeth can also lead to intrinsic stains.
Age-related stains are those that occur as we age. Our dentin naturally darkens and turns yellowish over time. The enamel of the teeth also gets thinner as we age, making it more prone to showing stains and discoloration.
Removing Tooth Stains
There are several methods to use to help remove stains from the teeth. Dental professionals offer tooth whitening procedures to restore teeth damaged by time and by exposure to foods and drinks that cause staining. However, many of the tips for removing stains are those that can be done at home. Tips include:
Brushing teeth after every meal – by brushing away the food particles and residues from drinks, you can help prevent stains. Most dental professionals agree that rinsing the mouth with water just after drinking coffee, tea, or wine can also flush away components of these drinks that lead to staining.
Brushing with baking soda – used once a week, baking soda is a gentle but effective way of removing surface stains from the tooth enamel. It has a mild abrasive effect, and can lead to gum irritation if done too frequently. If irritation occurs, reduce the frequency of using this home tooth stain remedy.
Using vinegar as a mouthwash – gargling with vinegar can help with oral health by removing the plaques and bacteria that can lead to stains. Apple cider vinegar is a time-honored solution to improving the appearance and health of the mouth.
Regular cleanings – of course, regular visits to the family dental clinic are the best way to keep the teeth and mouth healthy and looking great. Routine checkups and professional cleanings are critical for oral health. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today and get ready to receive compliments on your dazzling white teeth!
About: The article was written by Thomas E. Cooke, D.D.S, a veteran Dental specialist from Raleigh, NC.