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How To Keep Your Teeth White

September 10, 2013

Filed under: Home Blog Listing,Sage Blog — Tags: — Dr. Andrew Holecek @ 8:28 pm

The good news is that thanks to teeth whitening treatments you don’t have to live with stained or yellow teeth. But how do you keep your teeth white as long as possible after treatment?

You can significantly lengthen the time between treatments if you pay attention to the top causes of teeth staining are and avoid the ones that you can

Poor Oral Hygiene

Your teeth come in contact with so many substances everyday. The first cause of teeth staining is simply not doing the basic things that clean those substances off your teeth. It’s just like your clothes or your kitchen counter. If you use them everyday and never washed them, they’d look pretty dingy too. So, the first step in keeping the stains away is proper brushing and flossing.

If you don’t brush and floss, plaque builds up on your teeth and can harden into tartar. When this happens your teeth get a yellowish appearance. Taken one step further, without brushing and flossing, you will develop tooth decay. Decayed teeth have a brown to black color.

So start your campaign for whiter teeth with Four Star oral hygiene at home and make sure you visit us every six months for checkups and cleaning.

Foods

While the outer layer of your tooth called the enamel is one of the hardest substances in our bodies, it is also very porous. A porous material means it contains pores. And it is in these microscopic holes that dark colored foods get absorbed. If you are eating these particular foods frequently, they can cause stains and permanent discoloration of your teeth.

One way to think about it is if a food or beverage can stain your tablecloth or clothes, it can definitely caused stains on your teeth.

This is a list of some of the major culprits:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Beets
  • Dark colored sodas
  • Soy sauce
  • Curry
  • Tomato sauce
  • Popsicles
  • High acid foods

What You Can Do About It

Since a lot of these foods are an essential source of vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants, we don’t recommend you eliminate them. But you can do some things to minimize their impact on your pearly whites.

  • Brush After Meals: At lease rinse, but also try to brush and/or floss after every meal, especially meals that contain staining foods or beverages
  • Use a Straw: A straw will help to keep staining liquids away from your teeth
  • Swallow Faster: Since it is not likely you are going to start drinking your red wine through a straw, you also have the option of swallowing faster. If you feel you must swish that wine around in your mouth, you better have the toothbrush nearby.

Tobacco Products

We hope that you would think twice about using tobacco more because of the tremendous damage it does to your overall health. But using it also happens to be one of the best ways you can get some really intense stains on your teeth. If you don’t want stains, don’t use tobacco in any of its forms:

  • Cigarettes
  • Chewing Tobacco
  • Cigars
  • Snuff

Disease

Disease is another factor in tooth discoloration. Teeth stains can be caused directly by certain enamel diseases. But there are also diseases that can indirectly cause stains because of their effect on your dental health. Diabetes, for example, can cause your gum health to deteriorate. This can cause bacteria, plaque and tartar to build-up on your teeth, which causes stains.

Pregnant mothers can get certain infections that can cause tooth discoloration in her baby by affecting enamel development.

Certain medical treatments for disease can cause staining, as if the disease wasn’t bad enough.  Head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration.

Medications

The family of antibiotics know as Tetracyclines are antibiotics have been shown to effect color during the tooth’s development. Your primary teeth develop during the second half of your mother’s pregnancy. So antibiotics should be avoided by pregnant women during this time. Your permanent teeth are developed in childhood. So it is generally recommended that children are not given Tetracyclines before age 12.

Aging

Just as the rest of our bodies change with age, are teeth are not immune to the ravages of time. The internal structure of the teeth called dentin can darken over time. Also, the enamel usually gets thinner, which then allows that darken dentin to show through.

Genetics

The color of your enamel is also due to genetics. The reality is that some people simply have naturally brighter and/orthicker enamel than others. Don’t you hate that?

Tooth Trauma

Have you had a bad sports injury to your teeth and mouth? Depending on the severity, internal bleeding within the teeth can cause discoloration.  Or the the injury can cause nerve damage which also causes discoloration. It’s best to come see us as soon as possible if you or your child has experienced any mouth or tooth injuries.

We can also fit you with an athletic mouth guard to protect your teeth from these kinds of injuries.

Grinding Your Teeth at Night

About 10 percent of adults grind or clench their teeth. Up to 15 percent of kids grind their teeth. One survey puts the figure as high as 38 percent. Not only can grinding cause fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth, it is also very likely to cause micro cracks and chips on the enamel of the tooth causing darkening. We often recommend the very simple solution of a small nightguard to protect you from the negative effects of grinding your teeth at night.

At Sage Dental Care we offer both in-office whitening and take home whitening kits.

Please contact us for a free whitening consultation.

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