They say that your smile is the first thing someone notices about you, and if you’re like many Americans who are ashamed of their stained teeth, you probably feel very self-conscious and, perhaps, embarrassed when you meet someone new. You probably feel like your teeth stains are the only thing they notice, and while this probably isn’t true, it’s understandable that you would want your smile to look as white and shiny as possible. While some stains are the result of medications or high fevers in infancy, most tooth stains are the result of our own behavior. The following are some of the most common causes of teeth staining.
Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Tobacco use is one of the most well known causes of yellowing teeth. The nicotine and tar in the tobacco react with the natural bacterias in the mouth and stick to the enamel of your teeth. The more you use tobacco, the more your teeth will stain. If you’d like to see an example of this, take a look at the teeth of a long time smoker. Unless they’ve undergone whitening treatments, their teeth will have a distinct dark yellow tint.
Drinking Acidic Beverages
Beverages that people commonly consume, such as wine, coffee, tea, and soda, can leave lasting stains on your teeth. The acids in red wine, coffee, and tea form a chemical reaction in the mouth that breaks through the protective coating on tooth enamel and leaves stains that can become extremely unsightly if left untreated.
Eating Sweets and Intensely Colored Fruits
The effect of sugar on teeth has been widely documented, which is why most people know that they should limit their consumption of candies and other sweets. However, the dyes in those foods can often leave lasting stains on your teeth. Additionally, many fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, cherries, and grapes, can leave stains that are difficult to remove with daily brushing alone.
The best way to minimize teeth stains is to avoid using tobacco and to limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are acidic or intensely colored. Using a straw when drinking can also help to prevent your teeth from showing unsightly stains. Fortunately for those who have noticeably stained teeth, professional whitening treatments can often restore a smile to its rightful brightness and whiteness. If you’re tired of feeling ashamed of your stained teeth, make an appointment at our office today!