Did you know that over 15% of kids between the ages of six and 19 and over 20% of adults have untreated tooth decay in the U.S.? Tooth decay, also commonly known as cavities, is often caused by poor preventive dental habits, like neglecting to brush and floss teeth on a regular basis. Not only can this lead to increased tooth sensitivity, tooth infections and tooth loss, but it can also cause drastic tooth discoloration. Although a person might not always be able to feel the effects of poor dental habits right away, it can often be seen as teeth lose their white shine and begin to yellow. Teeth that are not well taken care of are more susceptible to tooth discoloration, but there are other factors that can cause teeth to lose their bright, white look as well.
Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration
Two of the biggest contributors to tooth discoloration other than poor dental hygiene are foods and beverages. Any food or drink that has a dark color or is very acidic can leave teeth with harsh stains and eroded tooth enamel. Wine, sports drinks, coffee and tea are some of the biggest killers in the beverage department, while dark berries, hard candies, citrus fruits and sauces are some of the most damaging foods. These things should be avoided in order to prevent tooth discoloration and enamel erosion. Anyone who continues to eat and drink these items should either brush their teeth or rinse after consuming them.
Another major factor in tooth discoloration is tobacco. Whether a person smokes cigarettes or chews tobacco, they are likely to see the effects on their teeth. The nicotine and tar in tobacco sticks to teeth and often results in yellow and brown stains. While the effects of tobacco on teeth are usually very apparent, they can be removed since they only stain the outside of teeth.
In-Office Teeth Whitening Procedures
Everyone should practice good dental habits, but when this isn’t enough to keep teeth stain-free, other methods are available. Cosmetic dentistry has come a long way, making in-office cosmetic dentistry procedures one of the most efficient and dramatic teeth whitening methods. Cosmetic dentists use a series of powerful bleaching applications to remove stains and make a patient’s teeth whiter. Not only do in-office whitening procedures produce the fastest results, but also the most dramatic results. Cosmetic dentists are able to make teeth several shades whiter in just one visit, whereas at-home whitening kits need to be applied every day and can take several months to work.
Brushing and flossing teeth are important preventive dental techniques that can prevent tooth decay and disease, but unfortunately even the most diligent tooth brushers can still suffer from tooth discoloration. Cosmetic dentistry procedures like in-office tooth whitening can erase even the most stubborn stains, leaving patients with a healthy, white smile.