Why Do Teeth Get Stained, And How Does Teeth Whitening Help?

Your teeth are a very important part of the image you portray. The teeth affect the beauty and appearance of your smile and your levels of self-esteem. Many people are concerned about teeth discoloration. To effectively handle discoloration, it is important to understand how the process starts in the first place.

How do Teeth Become Stained?

There are several reasons for tooth discoloration.

Any family dentist in Houston, TX, will advise you to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. If you do not follow these dental hygiene tips, then the likelihood of staining is very high. Forgetting to brush or floss can result in the build-up of plaque and food stains, which eventually lead to discoloration.

Diseases that prevent the development of the white exterior of the teeth, the enamel, or the yellow surface below the enamel called the dentin, can lead to discoloration of the tooth. Further, certain medical treatments or medications, including head and neck chemotherapy and radiation, might also lead to discoloration. Some infections during pregnancy can also result in newborns being born with or more prone to discolored teeth.

As one ages, the outer layer of their teeth deteriorates, exposing the yellow dentin. The size of the dentin will also grow as one age, increasing the size of the pulp. All these factors tend to combine to increase the chances of the tooth looking darker.

During tooth formation, fluoride, either from environmental sources or from the excessive use of such things as fluoride toothpaste, can result in fluorosis. One of the symptoms of fluorosis is the presence of white spots on the teeth.

Types of Tooth Discoloration

Commonly, there are three types of tooth discoloration,

1. Extrinsic

Extrinsic stains happen when the tooth’s outer layer is discolored due to lifestyle choices. These include smoking and drinking coffee and other colored food and drinks.

2. Intrinsic

The intrinsic stains happen when the internal parts of the tooth, the dentin, which has a yellow tint, darkens. It can be caused by medication, injury, or trauma to the tooth. Intrinsic stains are much harder to remove as they are ingrained into the surface.

3. Age-related stains

Age-related stains come with old age and are mostly a combination of both types of staining.

How to Prevent Tooth Discoloration

Having understood the types and causes of tooth discoloration, one can now easily outline the different ways to prevent the development of tooth discoloration. Any general dentist in Houston will tell you that the key to preventing tooth discoloration is to ensure proper hygiene. First, ensure you brush your teeth thoroughly and regularly enough. The recommended period is at least 2 minutes.

Secondly, one should ideally pick the right toothpaste to prevent tooth decay. Look for toothpaste that is approved by the experts and can guarantee white teeth and proper care. Toothpaste containing fluoride offers protection to the teeth and strengthens the enamel.

Finally, one should avoid dietary and behavioral factors that increase the chances of discoloration. For instance, smoking has been identified as a risk factor for the development of tooth discoloration. Further, one should avoid or limit food and drinks that tend to discolor the teeth, including cola, coffee, tea, and red wine.

Does Teeth Whitening Remove Stains?

Before looking for teeth whitening near you, most people will ask whether teeth whitening helps with the whole stain removal process. The process of teeth whitening can very successfully remove superficial level stains. Behavioral or dietary choices almost always cause these extrinsic stains. However, some stains might be more stubborn and difficult to deal with, particularly developmental staining, even given the benefits of whitening.

How Does Teeth Whitening Help?

Teeth whitening has several advantages and helps in different ways.

  • First, it helps remove discoloration and stains. Stains can be unpleasant and inappropriate, but tooth whitening helps solve the problem.
  • Teeth Whitening has the extra benefit of improving one’s looks and self-esteem.
  • Teeth Whitening has been known to help one look more youthful and have them smiling more often and being upbeat.

Contact us today if you have any questions regarding discoloration and tooth whitening. Call us and schedule an appointment to speak to our dentist.

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