Tooth Stains and How To Prevent Them
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Tooth Stains and How To Prevent Them

Tooth Stains

Tooth discoloration can cause self-esteem issues and self-consciousness, especially in teens and young adults. This article aims to inform our patients about the causes of tooth discoloration and stains, and how best to avoid them or reverse them.

Types Of Tooth Staining

There are a couple ways that your teeth can become discolored. Sometimes its just stains on the surface of your teeth, some are a natural result of the aging process, and some are caused by changes taking place inside the tooth. Below are the three most common causes of tooth discoloration:

  • Age-Related Staining – The dentin in your teeth naturally yellows over the years, and the enamel will also begin to wear down. This allows the yellow dentin to become more visible, causing the teeth to appear discolored.
  • Extrinsic Staining – These stains will appear on the outer layer of the teeth, known as enamel. These stains can be caused by coffee, tobacco use, dark sodas, or red wines.
  • Intrinsic Staining – Intrinsic staining occurs when the inside of the tooth yellows or darkens. This can be the result of:
    • Tetracycline antibiotic use as a child
    • An excess of fluoride in early childhood
    • Trauma to the affected tooth, also resulting in bleeding inside the tooth

Your dentist can easily remove extrinsic stains. However, other types of staining can be more permanent. In this situation, you can have your teeth whitened using a bleaching gel, or have a veneer or crown placed over the affected tooth.

Preventing Staining

If you consume foods or beverages that can stain the teeth, we recommend that you brush or rinse your mouth out immediately after consumption. In addition, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene habits and visit the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and exam.

To make an appointment with Dr. Rhoda Lockett in Colorado Springs, CO, please contact Lockett Orthodontics today.

Posted on Mar 1, 2017

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