What You Need to Know About Teeth Stains
When it comes to making a positive impression, your teeth are critical. That applies in both personal and professional situations, whether it’s about dating, attracting friends, or in any number of different professional scenarios.
Which is why dealing with teeth stains is so important. They can be incredibly debilitating on any number of levels, and it’s important to know how they happen, what the causes are, and what the best solutions are to deal with them.
Teeth Stains: Definitions and Causes
Technically, the medical term for teeth stains is discoloration. The common perception is that they’re a one-size-fits-all phenomenon, but there are actually three different kinds of discoloration.
The first and most common is extrinsic. It occurs on the surface of the tooth, and usually it only affects the enamel.
The most common causes are food, tobacco and beverages—coffee is frequently demonized as a cause, as is wine—but there are other foods that cause the problem, albeit less frequently.
The second type is intrinsic discoloration, which occurs within the tooth. This kind of discoloration gives the tooth a gray appearance, and it’s also more resistant to over-the-counter whitening products.
There are a variety of causes for this kind of discoloration. Trauma or injury is one, and some medications can also be responsible. Other causes are dental issues like tooth decay, along with too much fluoride.
Genetics also play a part, so it’s a good idea to know about this aspect of your lineage if you’re struggling with teeth stains.
The third cause is age and time. The simple, unfortunate fact is that enamel wears away with time, giving the tooth a yellowish appearance, and both intrinsic and extrinsic causes are likely to be more prominent as part of the aging process.
The Chemical Side of Teeth Stains
There’s a chemical process associated with teeth stains, and it’s important to know how that works, too.
Simply put, the biggest culprits are called chromogens. These are compounds in your food that cause deep pigmentation, and when they stick to the enamel of your teeth—which they do quite readily—the pigmentation caused by the bacteria they contain is both noticeable and hard to eliminate.
Tannins are another prominent cause, as are food dyes. Acidic foods and beverages can also cause staining, so you can add items like coffee and citrus fruit to the list.
How to Avoid Teeth Staining
Is it possible to avoid teeth staining? The answer is a qualified yes, as this requires diligence and some possible compromises in your diet.
If you are going to eat pigmented foods, you’re going to have to learn some new habits to avoid food staining. That includes brushing and flossing as soon as you’ve finished eating them, and if you’re in a social situation where that’s not possible you should try to drink or swish water around in your mouth.
Good dental and oral habits are high on the preventive list, too. That means brushing and flossing at least three times a day, using a water flosser, and brushing with a safe whitening toothpaste as well. A safe mouth rinse is another solid add-on, so consider that part of our arsenal as well.
Now for the tough one—consider modifying some of your habits. If you chew tobacco or smoke, prioritize quitting, and if you’re big on coffee or wine, try cutting back.
If you’re really serious about quitting, keep a food journal and prioritize eliminating or cutting back on foods with a propensity to stain teeth.
The Sentinel Solution
Given that teeth stains are a common problem with a chemical cause, you should also consider a dental solution that goes beyond self-maintenance and changing habits.
Normally this is an expensive solution, but not if you go with a company like Sentinel.
The Sentinel Mouthguards® Teeth Whitening System uses custom created trays specific to your teeth that you fill with gel to whiten your teeth, which makes it far safer than over-the-counter whitening products.
Many of these products aren’t good for the enamel, but Sentinel products are designed for sensitive teeth and take the hassle out of the whitening process.
How? When you purchase the Sentinel system, you make your own custom impressions of your teeth using our dental impression kits. Once your impressions are received art our lab, we tailor your solution by creating custom whitening trays and providing plenty of whitening gel that can last up to 18 months! Having a custom solution means you get total coverage over all your teeth, so there are no gaps or uneven patches.
To get a better idea of how it works, go to sentinelmouthguards.com and access the information about our process. You can also email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can visit our help center today!