Discolored Teeth 101
Shiny white teeth have always been highly desired, teeth whitening procedures are as popular as ever. But what exactly causes teeth discoloration? Depending on the cause sometimes a simple lifestyle change can stop the discoloration from worsening. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases when the darkening of discoloration is out of our control. Do you know what you can and should do? Read on to find out how to fix discolored teeth.
Furthermore, if you want that shiny pearly smile, Clock Tower Dentistry has got you covered. And now let’s discuss teeth discoloration, its leading causes, prevention, and solutions.
Causes of Discolored Teeth
Understanding the cause of the discoloration is critical to solving it. Depending on the cause the treatments may differ. So what causes discolored teeth?
Bad Lifestyle Choices
Bad habits can greatly affect the color of our teeth. The main culprits are fizzy drinks such as cola, tea, coffee, wine, and food high in starch like potatoes and pasta. Other than food a great factor is also the usage of tobacco, smoking is known to affect the color of our teeth greatly.
Bad Dental Hygiene
Not brushing your teeth regularly and forgetting to floss leads to plaque and food stains building up on your teeth causing teeth discoloration. Missing out on professional cleanings can also impact the rate of discoloration.
Diseases and Medication
Some dental diseases that prevent enamel and dentin from developing normally can alter the color of your teeth. Chemotherapy and radiation in the neck and head area can also affect teeth discoloration. Sometimes if a pregnant woman has an infection, it can alter the baby’s enamel development, thus discoloring the child’s teeth. There is also plenty of medication that causes teeth discoloration, specifically in children. If a child under the age of 8 takes doxycycline or tetracycline there is a great chance of it affecting the enamel of the teeth. Antihistamines, antipsychotics, and antihypertensive drugs can also discolor teeth.
Aging and Genetics
Hitting the genetics lottery can be very important for maintaining that pearly white smile, so, some people have thicker enamel inherently. As we age our enamel becomes thinner, making our teeth appear more yellow.
Discolored Teeth From Braces
Some people may find their teeth discolored after braces which is not an uncommon occurrence. If the patient is not taking good care of their teeth during orthodontal treatment and consuming drinks and food that stain the teeth, after removing braces discolored teeth white spots can be seen. Regular cleaning and flossing are required for preventing tooth discoloration during orthodontal treatment.
Permanent Discolored Teeth in Children
A child’s permanent teeth coming in discolored isn’t a reason to raise any alarms. It’s actually quite simple. When a child starts growing permanent teeth they may seem yellowish but that is simply because permanent teeth have more dentin than baby teeth so they appear more yellow than the latter.
How to Fix Discolored Teeth
Now let’s discuss available treatments for teeth discoloration. Do note that not everyone can get any type of teeth whitening treatment. So, talking to a dental health professional about the options available for you is essential. Now let’s cover some frequently used methods.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening is leagues above any other form of teeth whitening and will get rid of all types of stains and discolorations plaguing your teeth. It’s more expensive than over-the-counter products, but it pays off more in the long run, and the results are instantly noticeable.
So, how does it work? Well, simply put, a bleaching agent is applied to your teeth, and your gums are armed with guards that protect them from the bleaching agent. Next up, a light, such as a laser or an LED light, is applied to the bleaching agent. And, after only an hour, your smile will be much, much whiter.
Porcelain veneers are the golden standard for a pearly smile. And, they’re also a long-lasting solution for perfect teeth.
Most importantly, unlike teeth whitening, teeth veneers work for everyone. After all, some stains are unfortunately way too stubborn for teeth whitening methods. But, dental veneers are the reliable backup option. They’re made from thin shells of dental ceramics and they go over the front of your teeth, as well as the sides. They’re also custom-built to blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile, so you don’t have to worry about mismatched teeth.
If you’re looking for a cheap but effective solution for discolored teeth, dental bonding is the perfect choice for you. They’re a good, economically sound alternative to veneers, and they’re also not a permanent solution, so they’re great if you’re not looking to commit.
The bonding material is made from biocompatible resin, which can be molded and shaped according to the discolored tooth. The resin can be matched to the rest of your smile, or can even be whiter, depending on what you choose. Lastly, dental bonding can be all done and finished during one quick dentist appointment, so you’ll have a picture-perfect smile in no time.
Discolored Tooth Prevention
Prevention is the best cure, or so they say. So, here are a few things you can do to keep your smile stainless and pearly white.
- Drink water more frequently – especially after you have a meal. This aids in getting rid of food particles.
- Use a straw when drinking certain beverages that might cause discoloration, such as drinks that are too bright or too dark in color. This will minimize the contact these beverages make with your teeth.
- Follow a healthy diet – traditionally healthy foods and foods rich in fiber can help with preventing discoloration
- Follow a good dental care routine
- Get a professional dental cleaning twice a year