How to Remove Tough Stains on Your Teeth

Causes of Tooth Discoloration

There are a few ways in which your teeth can become stained or discolored. Your teeth can be discolored either on their surface or on the inside of the tooth. It’s important to recognize which kind of tooth discoloration you’re experiencing so that you can properly solve the problem and obtain whiter teeth. Getting a teeth whitening might be your best option for a bright smile.

Outer Surface of Teeth

Extrinsic stains, or stains that appear on the outer surface of your teeth, are affecting your tooth’s enamel. These surface stains are easy to prevent and usually have simple solutions to correct and lighten them. Extrinsic stains are usually caused by poor care of oral health. Not properly brushing or flossing twice a day can cause a build-up of hard yellowish plaque and enamel. At regular dental check-ups, your dentist will scrape off and remove any unwanted plaque and enamel build-up, preventing yellow stains on your teeth. So not visiting the dentist at least twice a year can lead to a yellowing or general discoloration of your teeth.

Inner Structure of Teeth

Intrinsic discoloration, or the discoloration of the inner structure of your teeth, can also be causing you to not have a perfectly white smile. This type of discoloration could leave your teeth looking yellow or grey. Intrinsic discoloration is usually caused by something more serious than just drinking too much coffee, it’s something that’s causing the inside of your teeth, the “dentin” to discolor. Because of this, intrinsic discoloration is much harder to remove than extrinsic. 

Common causes that can damage the insides of your teeth include having excess fluoride contact, certain dental procedures, even taking certain medications, or going through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. People who have an extreme level of contact with fluoride on their teeth may also experience intrinsic discoloration. Fluoride is good for promoting stronger teeth in smaller amounts, but in amounts that are too high, it can greatly harm the strength and color of your teeth. In some places, tap water can have excess amounts of fluoride in it, so drinking this water over a period of time can harm your teeth from the inside. Certain dental procedures such as silver cavity fillings can discolor your teeth as well. When a dental patient receives a silver cavity filling, it could make that tooth look grey from the inside out. This isn’t true all of the time, as some people’s teeth are just naturally thicker, but if you can you should try to get white fillings to prevent any unwanted discoloration.

Other Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Whether the discoloration is intrinsic or extrinsic, you may see that your teeth aren’t white simply because of your genetics or age. That’s right, genetics can play a role in how white your teeth are. Some people are born with naturally thicker enamel, thus leading them to have stronger, white teeth. Other people are born with thinner enamel, which can show off the inner dentin of the tooth which is naturally yellow. No matter what, over time as we age, our enamel starts to thin, which as mentioned can cause our teeth to appear yellow in color.

Preventing Stained Teeth

Implementing certain changes to your lifestyle can greatly prevent and decrease the look of stains on your teeth. Especially regarding the extrinsic or outer stains, there are many ways to help your teeth look whiter. Think of it in this way: anything that you eat or drink that can stain your clothes can also stain your teeth. Especially think in terms of dark drinks, such as coffee and cola, and highly pigmented foods, like fruits. Over time, consuming high quantities of foods and drinks like these could lead to discoloration in your teeth. 

There are a few ways to prevent unwanted stains or discoloration of your teeth by slightly altering your lifestyle to promote better oral health. The first way is to try and avoid eating or drinking dark and high pigments foods and drinks. Another way is to immediately brush your teeth after consumption. If brushing your teeth is a ready and viable option for you, even rinsing your mouth out with water after consumption can greatly reduce the risk of stain build-up or teeth yellowing over time.

Dental Treatments to Remove Tooth Stains

The best and most effective ways to remove teeth stains or yellowing are with professional dental treatments. There are two main procedures at your dental office that help promote a brighter and whiter smile. One is with stain removal techniques that whiten extrinsic discoloration and another is with teeth whitening which brightens the tooth intrinsically.

Stain Removal

At a dental office, stain removal can be done during or at the end of a regular routine check-up. After the dentist scrapes off any plaque and bad enamel build-up on the surface of your teeth, see if they can take the extra step and do some stain removal.

Teeth Whitening

Procedures at the dental office that white teeth from the inside have become very popular. These methods use chemicals, like hydrogen peroxide, to actually change the color of your teeth. There are usually two types of whitening procedures that offices can offer you, and Lawrence Dental Studio offers both. One procedure involves using effective and approved at-home whitening trays. The other method is with in-office deep bleaching. This method combines an office whitening procedure with at-home bleach trays to get you the brightest smile possible. Depending on how stained your teeth are and how white you’d like your teeth to be, your dentist can help you decide which method is best for you.

Dental Office in Lawrence, KS

At Lawrence Dental Studio, we offer cosmetic dental procedures including teeth whitening. If you’re not happy with the color of your teeth, come in to see us and we can help get the smile you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to set an appointment!

Tooth-Friendly Halloween Treats

If you’re like a large majority of the population, then you jump at the first sight of bags of candy lining the aisles of grocery stores as everyone begins preparing for Halloween. As the holiday gets closer and closer, the overconsumption of sweet treats is normalized and even encouraged. While these bite-sized desserts are delicious, of course, they do more damage than good; not only compromising your health but the state of your oral hygiene and dental integrity. All of the treats can be a real trick on the health of you and your child, as the bacteria in your mouth will convert leftover sugars and starches into acid, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay and enamel damage. Avoid the caramel, bubble gum, and gummy candy — they drive your dentist batty! Instead, reference this list of things that are great for celebrating Halloween while also celebrating your dental hygiene! And of course, don’t forget to schedule your regular cleaning with Lawrence Dental Studio. Contact us today. 

Chocolate

For all chocolate lovers out there, this is your time to rejoice! Chocolate tends to rinse off your teeth quicker than sticky and gummy candies, making them a smaller threat to the health of your teeth — just try to avoid the chocolate that has caramel inside. You can even opt for dark chocolate, which has less sugar than milk chocolate or white chocolate and usually has antioxidants and fiber. This would be a great treat to replace the others in your child’s candy bag, and something that they will even like! 

Alternative Snacks

Little bags of pretzels, crackers, and pureed fruit pouches can be a great alternative treat to all the cavity-inducing treats that everyone else hands out. These are great for snacking and are still enjoyable. You will enjoy them without really even thinking about it. These unsweetened additions to your bag of candy will be a more healthy alternative in your diet and will give you some relief from the overload of sugar.  

Halloween Trinkets and DIY Decorations

Another suggestion is to raid your local dollar store and stock up on trinkets that are Halloween themed so you can enjoy the spirit of the day. Although you won’t be able to eat these treats, you can still be creative and have fun while keeping the sugar at bay. These “treats” can include glow sticks, temporary tattoos, vampire teeth, spider rings, coloring books, pencils, erasers, Play-Doh, and other modeling clay. You can even go to hobby stores and create your own Halloween decorations to get in the spirit. 

Sugar-Free Gum

Sugary gum can be one of the worst kinds of things for your teeth because it helps increase the accumulation of plaque on your teeth and causes tooth decay over time. Instead, opt for a sugar-free gum that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva production, which helps prevent cavities when combined with great dental hygiene practices. 

Water

While this “treat” doesn’t really seem like a treat at all, water is a great way to wash away any sugar that might remain in their mouths after snacking on other candy. They are also a great way to help keep you hydrated as you continue on your Halloween adventure, trick-or-treating around your neighborhood. 

Substituting Sweets for Healthy Snacks

There’s no need to punish yourself if you have a craving for chocolate or another sugary treat. Should you ever have one, then reach for a healthy snack that will satisfy your cravings. This can be anything from vegetables and hummus to cheese and crackers to peanut butter and a banana. You don’t have to get crazy with the snacks, but giving yourself something healthier to munch on is better than diving into a family-sized bag of chocolate when you get the urge. But, if you need your chocolate fix, then opt for some sugar-free sweets. No, they’re not the same as those other Halloween treats, but that is something your teeth will thank you for! 

While it may take a while for you to adjust to the change in diet, it is easier than you think and contributes to their overall health. Every effort you make to change Halloween habits will lead to long-lasting change, and soon you will have no problem kicking your love for sugar to the curb! Don’t beat yourself up, however, if you do choose to indulge in some sweet treats, just drink some water afterward and brush your teeth before bed. And of course, don’t forget to schedule your regular dental hygiene appointments with Lawrence Dental Studio, the best cosmetic dentist in Lawrence, Kansas! We specialize in sleep disorders, TMJ disorders, dental implants, teeth whitening, and more. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.