What Causes Teeth To Become Stained?

We often have patients approach us to discuss brightening smiles. No one enjoys a smile marred with unsightly discoloration. What causes teeth to become stained in the first place? By understanding the common factors behind discoloration, you can make decisions to help your teeth remain bright.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teeth Stains

Question: What are extrinsic teeth stains?

Answer: These are brown or yellow patches that form on the surface of the teeth. They are caused by the foods and drinks we consume, such as foods high in sugar and starch or drinks with dark pigments (soda, coffee, tea, red wine, fruit juice). Smoking can also lead to surface discoloration. In most cases, these are easily removed with teeth whitening.

Question: What causes intrinsic teeth stains?

Answer: These differ significantly from extrinsic discoloration. Intrinsic stains form below the enamel, and can be caused by fluorosis, exposure to certain medications, such as tetracycline, and injury to the tooth or teeth. Our teeth whitening procedure can often address minor intrinsic discoloration, but we can also mask these stains with a restoration, such as a porcelain veneer, or with dental bonding.

Question: How do I prevent future discoloration?

Answer: After you undergo a whitening procedure, you should maintain good oral hygiene to help your smile stay brighter for longer periods. First, cut back on staining drinks and sugary snacks. Many fruits and vegetables are not only delicious, but can help remove plaque buildup as well (such as broccoli, carrots, and apples). You will need to brush your teeth in the morning and again at night for at least two minutes per session. You also need to floss every night before going to bed. Finally, we urge patients to take time every six months to schedule and attend a routine checkup and cleaning. If you have any questions about teeth whitening and the causes of teeth stains, then contact our office today.

Do You Have Questions About Removing Teeth Stains?

For a brighter smile, we recommend professional teeth whitening! For more information about our treatments, from Invisalign braces to dental implants, contact our team today. Schedule a consultation by calling Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Rochester, MN, today at (507) 281-3659.