Tips for Preventing Tooth Stains
Children’s teeth are generally white, but as we age, our teeth tend to become darker. This is a natural process due in part to natural structural changes in the tooth, as well as lifestyle factors. The tooth consists of several layers. The outer layer is enamel, the hardest substance in the human body. Enamel is actually mineralized crystalline rods. The rods are densely packed but porous, which allows chromogens, or stain-causing substances, to get through to the deeper layer of the tooth, or the dentin.
Dentin is a softer layer, and it can be yellow, brown, gray, or black. A professional dental cleaning may be enough to remove the superficial stains, but it may not be enough to manage the deeper stains and discolorations. For these, Dr. Frame may recommend teeth whitening. Preventing teeth stains is ideal whenever possible.
1. Avoiding foods and drinks known to cause stains
This list includes coffee, tea, soda, grape juice, cranberry juice, beets, tomato sauces, soy sauce, blueberries, and red and white wines. While you don’t have to completely cut these foods and drinks from your diet, you may want to rinse your mouth with water thoroughly after enjoying them.
2. Eating foods that can clean your teeth
Some foods can help prevent stains. These include carrots, celery, apples, pears, and cauliflower. These fruits and veggies are fibrous and juicy, and they clean teeth as you chew them. Cheese can also help keep teeth by scrubbing them and giving them a good dose of calcium to strengthen enamel.
3. Drinking with a straw
This minimizes contact between your teeth and your drink and is particularly important if you are drinking something likely to stain your teeth, like tea or cold coffee.
Keeping your teeth clean and healthy can also help them stay bright. Brush, floss, and rinse properly every day to keep plaque and tartar deposits under control. Sticky plaque tends to attract stains, so by reducing it, you give stains less of an opportunity to grab onto your teeth. Get your teeth professionally cleaned by Dr. Frame at least twice a year to polish away superficial stains. Call us today to find out more or to schedule an appointment with our team.
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