Tooth Discoloration and How to Avoid It

Tooth discoloration {Photo credit: drchetan)
Tooth discoloration {Photo credit: drchetan)
Tooth discoloration {Photo credit: drchetan)

When you get down to it, one of the many reasons that millions of American frequent cosmetic dentists is for a universally shared purpose; to have a clean, bright smile. The desire for this has led to the rise of several near miraculous teeth whitening procedures and treatments. Though the effectiveness of these methods is undeniable, they cannot truly prevent the discoloration of teeth from happening without a little help.

To understand how you can avoid discoloring your teeth, cosmetic dentists recommend learning what is staining them in the first place. There are many reasons why discoloration can happen, and many ways to prevent it. The following is a basic list of some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration, and how to prevent or minimize them.

Cause: Consuming or using certain substances can stain the enamel (protective coating) of your teeth. Such substances can stain through acidic means, residue, general plaque building, etc. They are oftentimes substances that can be healthy to remove from a diet, or can be easily substituted. The following are some common examples of enamel staining substances:

• Coffee
• Tobacco
• Soda
• Strong Teas
• Certain fruits and vegetables (e.g. apples and potatoes)
• Alcohol
• Sugars

Solution: Behavioral changes. Cut the unnecessary substances out of your diet completely. This means tobacco use (chewing as well as smoked), sodas, and most sugars. Also, cutting back on coffee, or substituting with lighter teas like green or oolong will be more dental friendly.

Dentin Damage
Cause: Dentin is the innermost part of a tooth, what the enamel is wrapped around. A dentin discoloration will glare through even the most polished enamel. Trauma or ingesting certain chemicals, such as heavy amounts of fluoride at a young age, could cause permanent discoloration to the dentin.

Solution: The only real maintenance is making sure that it doesn’t happen. Consult a cosmetic dentist with any oral injury or if anything like a pinched nerve affects a tooth. Take particular care that children are watched out for. All children should wear protective mouth gear during sports or youth athletics. The fear is that though the damage is not enough to knock out a tooth, it could cause permanent dentin damage.


Cause: Neglect basically means ignoring the most basic tenets of oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regular may not entirely prevent the staining that causes tooth discoloration; but, it will go a long way toward limiting the extent and speed of its development.

Solution: DO NOT FORGET OR SLACK ON BASIC ORAL MAINTENANCE. Try tricks like always starting to brush from a different spot so that you consciously reach every area of your mouth. Invest in a new toothbrush every couple months; they’re cheap and downright free at a cosmetic dentist’s office.

Oral health is an ongoing medical concern as you age. Making sure your smile is always bright can be achieved by cutting out the cause for discoloration, and adding professional teeth whitening by a cosmetic dentist to your regimen is a surefire way to get the ball rolling. Professional care and teeth whitening will have your smile shining through if you are persistent and responsible.

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