Have you noticed your smile isn’t as bright as it used to be?
Teeth discolouration is an extremely common dental concern.
Some causes of stained teeth cannot be avoided, such as dental trauma, certain medications, aging, and genetics.
However, simple changes to your daily habits can help prevent stained teeth and keep your smile healthy and bright.
In this blog, we’ll cover:
- 10 Habits That Cause Stained Teeth
- What to Do if You Have Stained Teeth
- How to Prevent Yellow Teeth
- Types of Teeth Staining
- Professional Teeth Whitening Options
10 Habits That Can Stain Your Teeth
1. Drinking Coffee, Red Wine, or Highly Pigmented Beverages
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It’s also one of the top causes of stained teeth.
If you drink coffee, adding a bit of milk to it can help reduce staining. You can also rinse your mouth with water after drinking it to help protect your teeth.
Along with coffee, other pigmented beverages can lead to teeth staining and discolouration. These include:
- Fruit juice
- Dark cola
- Black tea or other dark teas
- Red wine
If you drink coffee, wine, cola, juices, or tea, be sure to limit your consumption and drink a glass of water after to help rinse away the pigments.
2. Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking and tobacco use are also well-known causes of tooth discolouration and staining. This is due to the presence of two compounds, oxygen tar and nicotine.
Along with causing teeth discolouration, smoking and tobacco use also increase the risk of oral health problems, such as oral cancer and gum disease.
3. Poor Oral Hygiene
If you do not brush and floss regularly, plaque can build up on your teeth. Stains can then stick to dental plaque, leading to yellowing and discolouration.
A good oral hygiene routine will help prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth healthy and bright.
4. Drinking Acidic Beverages
If you’re thinking that switching from red wine to white wine will prevent teeth staining, you may be surprised to know that white wine can cause tooth staining as well.
White wine is acidic and can soften the tooth enamel and cause it to be more porous, leaving it more susceptible to staining.
5. Eating Very Pigmented Foods
Just like dark beverages, highly pigmented foods can cause teeth staining over time.
If it stains your fingers, it is likely to stain your teeth too.
Sticky candies and gummies are especially problematic. Along with being filled with artificial dyes, candies and gummies cling to teeth. This allows the pigments to sit on the teeth longer and cause staining.
Foods that may stain teeth include:
- Curry sauces
- Tomato based sauces
- Soy sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dark chocolate
- Dyed candies and gummies
6. Not Drinking Enough Water
Drinking enough water is good for your overall health. It can also help rinse away food debris and particles that can cause staining if left on your teeth.
Be sure to drink the recommended amount of water every day and drink a glass of water after consuming pigmented foods or beverages.
7. Letting Foods or Beverages Sit in Your Mouth
The longer a food or beverage sits in your mouth, the more time it has to be in contact with your teeth and cause staining. This is especially true for acidic foods or drinks as the acid can wear away tooth enamel.
Try to avoid holding foods or drinks in your mouth longer than needed or use a straw with certain drinks to limit contact with your teeth.
8. Excessive Fluoride Use
Fluoride is a proven way to protect teeth against cavities and is an important part of a good oral hygiene routine.
However, excessive fluoride use during the childhood years can cause white spots on the teeth, a condition known as fluorosis.
9. Not Visiting Your Dentist for Regular Checkups
Regular dental check-ups are one of the most important parts of a good oral hygiene routine. At these general checkups, your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums.
This is a chance for your dentist to detect and treat problems as early as possible. It is also a chance for your dentist to educate you on lifestyle changes and brushing techniques that can help you keep your smile white and healthy.
10. Drinking Sports and Energy Drinks
Sports drinks and energy drinks have both been found to contribute to the breakdown of enamel. Weakened enamel is more susceptible to staining.
Energy drinks were found to have an even higher acidity content than sports drinks, making it important to pay close attention to your consumption of energy drinks.
What To Do If You Stain Your Teeth
If you are struggling with stained or yellowed teeth, your dentist can help. A dentist can pinpoint the cause of teeth staining and the type of teeth staining to determine the best whitening option.
For instance, intrinsic discolouration that is a result of dental trauma or medication will require more advanced treatment. Extrinsic stains affect the outer surface (the enamel) and can be treated more easily.
Professional teeth whitening involves the application of a dental-grade whitening gel containing whitening agents such as hydrogen peroxide.
At Chelmsford Dental, we offer two convenient professional whitening treatments:
Take-Home Whitening Treatments — Take-home whitening treatments are a convenient option for patients looking for professional whitening results on a budget. The whitening kit includes custom-made trays, dental-grade whitening gel, and simple-to-follow instructions.
This effective teeth whitening option can be done in the comfort of your own home and on your schedule. Results from take-home whitening treatments can be seen in one to two weeks.
In-Chair Teeth Whitening — Professional in-chair whitening involves the application of dental-grade whitening gel that gets activated by an LED light. Together, the light and gel break down stains in the teeth, leaving your smile whiter and brighter in a matter of hours.
In-chair whitening is faster and can produce more dramatic results than take-home whitening kits. In-office whitening is an extremely popular cosmetic dental treatment and is the most effective way to whiten teeth.
You May Also Like: Exploring Different Teeth Whitening Options: Pros, Cons, and Safety Tips
How to Prevent Stained Teeth
Certain causes of teeth discolouration cannot be prevented, but certain habits can help keep your smile looking whiter.
If you are trying to prevent stained teeth or maintain your results from a whitening treatment, here are tips for preventing tooth discolouration:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using gentle, circular motions and a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use a fluoride toothpaste approved by the Australian Dental Association (ADA)
- Floss at least once a day
- Drink enough water
- Pay attention to your consumption of pigmented foods and beverages, such as red wine, cola, coffee, tea, beets, berries, etc.
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking pigmented beverages
- Avoid tobacco use and smoking
- See your dentist for regular dental checkups
Smile Brighter With Chelmsford Dental
Many people struggle with stained or yellowed teeth. Fortunately, there are easy, effective ways to enjoy a brighter, whiter smile, such as in-office teeth whitening or take-home whitening kits.
Is tooth discolouration making you self-conscious? We can help!
Contact Chelmsford Dental with any questions or to book a consultation to learn more about our professional whitening procedures and to find out if you are a good candidate.