Teeth Stains or discoloration is an oral condition that affects the surface of the teeth causing a color change from white to yellow, brown or black. It occurs as irregular coloured patches or lines on your teeth.
It can be reversed depending on its main cause.
Types and Causes of Teeth Stains: Teeth stain coffee
There are three types of teeth stains namely: extrinsic, intrinsic and age-related teeth stains.
Extrinsic stains –these are the tooth discoloration on the surface of the teeth caused by eating or drinking black tea, coffee, red/white wine, curry, dark sodas, berries, candies, and pickles. It is also caused by smoking or chewing tobacco and overall poor dental hygiene
Intrinsic stains – these are the tooth stains below the surface of the tooth caused by excessive use of fluoride and, some medications and antibiotics. Teeth grinding and decay may also cause an intrinsic stain. Also, calcium defiance in kids may result in ‘white spots on teeth (fluorosis)’
Ageing teeth stains – these are discoloration on both the surface and below teeth surface caused by ageing. As you age your tooth enamel becomes thinner exposing the layer below it also called dentin. Dentin is yellow in colour, its exposure due to enamel damaged cause your teeth to look yellow.
How to Remove Teeth Stains
There are many ways both naturally and professional y that helps remove stains on your teeth; choose which one to go for depending on the main cause of your tooth discoloration.
1. Daily Brushing, Flossing and mouth rinse- When you eat, some food stack on your teeth mixing with saliva and fluids to form plaque. When you fail to brush your teeth within 24 to 72 hours plaque turns into tartar (hard deposit of yellow or brown substance) that are easily stained by the foods and drinks you eat and drink. Observing good oral hygiene will help you to get rid of plaque before turning into tartar and remove all other surface stains
2. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking or eating food staining teeth and drink tea or coffee with little milk
3. Brush your teeth with baking soda (8 teaspoons of baking soda mixed with 8 teaspoons of organic oil) can help reduce stains but do it in moderation as it can degrade tooth enamel.
4. Apply whitening strips with hydrogen peroxide ingredient –these help remove intrinsic stains, discolouration below tooth surface. You can get good deals on teeth whitening on Cyber Monday. Additionally, regular whitening will make your teeth look whiter.
5. Get bonding, crown or veneer (the material used to cover the surface of the tooth) for severe cases, when stain cannot be removed by any other means.
6. Undergo root canal treatment to remove the damaged inner part of the teeth before it darkens
7. Attend regular dental checkup for deep cleaning and whitening treatments
8. Reduce intake of sugary and carbohydrate foods as they create an acidic environment in the mouth that erodes tooth enamel
9. Get mouth guard for preventing tooth grinding
10. For kids avoid too much exposure to fluoride below 8 years old
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Dr. Tom Bell has a PhD in Medical Anthropology. He has a keen interest in oral health topics and is the founder of dentalrave. He has been an oral health researcher and electric toothbrush enthusiast for over 10 years. When not talking about dental hygiene and gadgets, Tom likes spending time outdoors hiking.