Many of our patients at our dental clinic in Carshalton Surrey ask us what they can do to whiten their teeth but not many people ask us how to prevent stained teeth in the first place. The answer to this is a little tricky as some people are prone to building up stain, however here are some helpful tips that our patients have found useful:
- Avoid Smoking
- Avoid tea and coffee, particularly the black kind!
- Avoid having frequent sugar as this leads to tooth decay which can leave unsightly black marks on your teeth
- Stick to white wine as oppose to the red stuff.
- Brush twice daily
- Use whitening toothpastes – these are slightly more abrasive than normal toothpastes and they can help remove the surface stain.
What other things can cause darker teeth?
- If you had certain antibiotics when you were younger (e.g. Tetracycline)
- Trauma to the teeth causing the nerve to die
- Some rare genetic conditions such as amelogenesis/dentinogenesis imperfecta
How is staining caused?
Staining can be either extrinsic (on the surface of the tooth) or intrinsic (on the inside of the tooth) and is caused when small particles of food substances are deposited on/in teeth. Generally, extrinsic staining is a lot easier to remove and a simple visit from your hygienist will help to clean it all off. Intrinsic staining, on the other hand occurs on the inside surface of the teeth and can only be removed by bleaching your teeth, which our dentists can do for you. It is a safe, quick and effective procedure and many of our patients are choosing to get this done.
Why do your teeth get darker with age?
The staining picked up as you get older is an accumulative effect, meaning that years and years of bad habits (e.g. smoking, tea/coffee consumption) all build up leaving you with dark, yellow teeth. In addition, as you get older, the enamel on your teeth wears away leaving you with a high content of dentine. Dentine is a lot more yellow in colour and also more porous meaning that it will pick up a lot more stains.