Why Are My Teeth Stained?
Author: Michele Rolla
Let’s face it. Even while we live and push through a pandemic, and go out in public, sporting a mask, we still live in a vanity centric society. Behind every mask there is a smile. Some brighter and whiter than others. Why is that? Why do my teeth stain?
Starting with the composition of a tooth might be helpful. Our teeth are made up of four different types of tissue: pulp, dentin, enamel, and cementum. Fun fact, most adults have 32 teeth, not including wisdom teeth!
Today, we are interested in tooth enamel. Enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth and is the hardest tissue in the body. It is mostly made up of calcium phosphate. It is the enamel that absorbs stains and as a result our teeth can appear yellow and dingy.
There are many reasons why we experience tooth discoloration. Some reasons may be health related and others stem from our diet and lifestyle.
• Poor hygiene – nothing new here, it’s so important to maintain proper brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist.
• Disease, medical treatments, and medications – unfortunately, so many important and life-saving medical treatments and medications can discolor our teeth.
• Genetics and aging - Did you know that our teeth naturally discolor and yellow as we age?
Diet and Lifestyle:
• Foods and beverages - you will be surprised to learn what is staining your teeth.
• Smoking - why is anyone still smoking?
In addition to the how and why teeth stain, there are two stain categories, extrinsic teeth stains and intrinsic teeth stains. Extrinsic stains are surface stains caused by most foods and beverages and easier to remove. Intrinsic stains are deeper in the enamel and more difficult to remove since the staining falls deeper within the tooth enamel.
So what foods are staining your teeth? You are probably thinking of the popular coffee and tea. Bad news. Essentially, everything we eat and drink on a daily basis has the potential to stain our teeth. Some stains adhere to the enamel quicker than others. Here is a quick list of the top stain offenders, starting with the obvious.
• Coffee and tea - as stated earlier, coffee and tea are the most notable stain offenders.
• Wines and sodas - red wines and dark colas are popular stain offenders.
• Fruits and veggies – these include most berries and darker colored fruits and vegetables such as beets.
• Sauces – including soy, curry, tomato, and all other darker colored sauces.
• Candy – particularly dark colored candies and chocolates.
• Smoothies – yup, those often “healthy” green smoothies are staining your teeth!
As you can see, the short list contains foods and beverages that also have beneficial properties to them. Even the healthiest of eating habits will stain teeth. What can you do? Glad you asked. It takes more than regular brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist to keep your smile healthy and bright.
Whitening products help to remove stains from our enamel. Teeth whitening systems have come a long way in the last few years and no longer need to be equated with sensitivity or enamel damage. Our Pro-Renewal™ Whitening System is designed to overcome the toughest whitening challenges in minutes and can whiten your teeth by 7 shades in 7 days, with minimal to no sensitivity or irritation. It includes one of the highest levels of hydrogen peroxide available over the counter along with the same blue light technology used by dentists for efficacy, but also leverages patented Aloe White® Total Comfort Technology with soothing aloe vera to ensure happy teeth and gums.
We take pride in our commitment to deliver the best whitening system, while providing a pathway to quicker, more comfortable, and convenient results. Our passion and dedication to spreading happiness comes with great responsibility. Research has proven that not only does a smile have the power to light up a room, a single smile is highly contagious, being felt by everyone, generating an overall sense of happiness. Let’s embrace the opportunity to change how we feel about ourselves and everyone around us, one smile at a time.