Why do teeth become stained or discoloured?
There are many reasons why teeth can stain or darken. Some are not within our control, such as age, genetics, or accidents, and some are, such as our lifestyle choices.
This is why it is important to discuss any plans you have about whitening your teeth with your dentist. While it's true that teeth whitening is normally performed for cosmetic reasons, your dentist should still be able to recommend the best course of action as they should be qualified to tell you whether the staining is due to lifestyle factors or overall oral health.
The good news is that reversing stains is normally well within our reach, and your dentist should be able to restore your teeth to their former glory.
How common are discoloured or stained teeth?
Many people believe that one of their most attractive features is their smile. It should come as no surprise, then, that whitening products and procedures have become increasingly popular over time. While we don't know how many people have stained or discoloured teeth, it's usually a good thing when someone's self-confidence improves as a result of a whitening procedure.
What treatment options are available?
Yes, there are treatments available for whitening your teeth. Depending on the cause of your discolouration, your dentist might recommend one of the following options:
This includes things like avoiding stain-causing foods and beverages, such as hot coffee or acidic fruits, using over-the-counter whiteners, which are usually available in sticks, strips, or tooth-shaped trays, and brushing and flossing your teeth daily.
Professional whitening is done in a dentist's office with professional whitening products that are far more powerful than over-the-counter whitening products. This can help speed up the whitening process. It usually also includes a custom tray that is fitted to your mouth and provides better white adhesion.
Dental crowns can be placed over a tooth to cover and/or restore damaged teeth and whiten your smile. Your dentist should be able to match the crown with your tooth colour.
How can I prevent tooth staining and discolouration?
Brush and floss twice a day (twice a day for brushing) and get regular dental check-ups to improve your oral hygiene. It's usually suggested that you do it every two years. If you drink coffee, consider reducing your intake or switching to a different beverage. If you're trying to quit smoking, get some help.