Preventing Tooth Decay To Maintain Healthy Teeth

Will Surface-Stain Tooth Whiteners Work For You?

Many tooth whitening products exist, but many of them are limited to surface stains. Unfortunately, these products won't work for everyone: if the stains on your teeth aren't on the surface of the enamel, you'll be wasting your money. This guide will help you to determine whether your teeth have surface stains, how to get rid of them and what to do if the stains are under the surface.

Surface Stains

Surface stains, also known as extrinsic discoloration, are one of the most common causes of tooth discoloration. A variety of things can cause this: what you eat and drink, medications and poor dental hygiene. Some foods dye your teeth with their inherent color: berries, beets, and juices have strong pigmentation which can stick to your tooth enamel and leave it looking discolored. Acidic foods like pickles, vinegar and some types of fruit can penetrate deeply into the pores your enamel, staining it.

If you're drinking a dark or strongly-colored drink, chances are it's causing tooth discoloration. Black tea, red wine, and coffee are all tooth-staining culprits.

Antibiotics like amoxicillin and tetracycline stain the surface of teeth and can make them look yellow or even streaked with brown. Some antihistamines and prescription medications can also change the color of your teeth, so consult with your pharmacist to see if one of your medications has this side effect.

There's also one other surface staining cause: tartar buildup. If your teeth look chalky, yellow or brown, you might actually just be due for a deep cleaning at your dentist's office to remove the tartar. There are no home methods that can get rid of oral tartar, and having it on your teeth will increase your risk of cavities, so get it checked out immediately.

Getting Rid Of Surface Stains

The good news is, if you think you have surface stains on your teeth, it's easy to get rid of them and doesn't require heavy-duty products that can inflame the nerves of your teeth.

Whitening toothpastes do a great job of removing surface stains. They work gradually, so read the packaging: any reputable brand will tell you how long it'll take before you start seeing the effects

There's also a good chance that seeing a dentist and getting a deep cleaning will restore your teeth to a whiter color. The cleaning you receive at the dentist's office is superior to what you can achieve at home (even with an electric toothbrush) and can clean surface stains on teeth.

Deeper Stains

If the causes of surface stains listed don't match what you consume, you probably have stains beneath the enamel. Generally, this discoloration isn't actually a stain: your tooth's dentin, which is yellow or brown, is visible through your white enamel. Don't bother with whitening toothpastes and other products that remove surface stains: they won't help.

To fix this, you need more heavy-duty whitening: gels and strips containing peroxide can penetrate past the enamel, whitening the dentin. Your dentist can also whiten your teeth quickly and professionally and can avoid the discomfort and sensitivity that's often caused by home-whitening kits.

Whitening your teeth is one way to improve your appearance and self-image, but it's important to not use the wrong product. While a heavy-duty gel or strip can clean surface stains, you can avoid the discomfort they often cause by using gentler products that only remove surface stains, or by getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist. For more help, contact a professional like John P Poovey DMD PC to learn more.