How to Prevent Teeth Stains

Most teeth look white at a distance. Even up close, they appear pretty white. The person that notices stains the most is you. Most people have a slight yellowing to their teeth. The outer layer of your teeth is called enamel. It protects the layer underneath. This layer, known as dentin, is typically yellowish or even of a darker hue. That fact alone can lead to a yellowish tint to your teeth. This is what experts call intrinsic stains. They come from the tooth itself. Other stains can enter the inside of the tooth if there are cracks, chips and decay happening.

Another cause of intrinsic stains is the aging process. As we age, so do our teeth. The enamel can get thin and the dentin layer can show through. Also, taking certain medications can lead to intrinsic stains. Antibiotics are the usual culprits.

External Tooth Stains

What can stain the enamel of the tooth? First, there is tobacco. Cigarette smoking can lead to brownish stains on the teeth from the chemicals found in the tobacco. The smoking can also discolor the skin of your lips.

Juices and wines, especially those of the grape variety, can leave stains on your teeth. Drinking grape juice, cranberry juice, red wine and even coffee can yellow your teeth over time.

Preventing Tooth Stains

Now that you know some of the reasons why you may have less than white glistening teeth, you can help yourself by learning to avoid these stains, if you can.

* Stop smoking. This one is going to take you some time, as quitting is not exactly an easy process. But, not only is smoking a danger to your internal health, it also will lead to darker teeth.

* Drink staining beverages through a straw. It might not look good drinking wine through a straw but you can limit the amount of red wine that you drink or switch to white. As for soft drinks, drinking dark juices through a straw keeps the contact with your teeth to a minimum.

* Brush regularly. Daily brushing and flossing can prevent the build-up of foods on the teeth that can stain them. Also, flossing helps remove foods that lead to plaque around the base of the tooth. Plaque stains even more visibly than the enamel of the tooth.

* Use dental stain removers. This can be whitening treatments or stain-removing toothpaste. Be careful with some of the toothpastes on the market for stains. They contain abrasives that can possibly do more damage than good.