Are you feeling self-conscious about your smile? If so, you are not alone. A recent study has found that nearly two-thirds of those aged 35 and under have been made to feel uncomfortable about their smile. One of the leading causes of this is due to teeth staining.
Every day, our teeth have to go through a lot. From the foods we eat to the drinks we consume; they can all cause our teeth to become discolored and leave us feeling like our smile is holding us back.
Continuous bombardment from commercials on teeth whitening and social media packed with perfect celebrity smiles can leave us all feeling a little self-conscious, so to help answer your many different teeth staining questions, we have put together our comprehensive FAQ.
What causes teeth staining?
Teeth staining is a natural part of life, but there are a number of factors that can accelerate the process and leave our teeth looking more discolored. The most common causes are due to lifestyle habits, such as the foods that we eat, the drinks we consume, whether we smoke, and our dental hygiene.
However, teeth staining is also a common occurrence as we age, and the dentin within our teeth naturally begins to yellow.
Certain diseases or physical trauma can also cause your teeth to become discolored, as can medication and medical treatments.
What foods contribute to teeth staining?
Any food or drink that we consume can play a small role in staining our teeth, but certain options are far more damaging.
Tomato-based sauces can be quite damaging to your teeth due to the pigments that are found within the vegetable. Curries are another offender due to the strong colorings they contain and the fact that they often feature turmeric.
Fruits such as berries might be a great way to get your five a day, but they are also a major contributor to teeth staining.
What drinks cause teeth staining?
Just like the foods we eat, the drinks we consume are also very damaging to our teeth. Tea and coffee, particularly black coffee, can be very harmful to your teeth as they contain a chemical compound known as tannins. Red wine is also a very common cause of staining.
Soft drinks such as cola eat away at the enamel, which can leave your teeth looking discolored. It is a similar effect when we drink dark-colored fruit juices such as cranberry, blueberry, or grape.
However, this does not mean that you need to completely avoid them, just regulate your consumption and ensure you are following good dental hygiene.
Does green tea stain your teeth?
One common misconception is that green tea does not contribute to teeth staining. This is not true, though, and it can lead to discoloration in the same way as any other tea. Green tea has very high levels of the compound called tannin, which significantly increases the risk of discoloration.
Can having braces stain your teeth?
While the braces themselves will not cause your teeth to become stained, it is very common to find that there are mild stains visible when you take them off. This is due to the levels of dental hygiene that were followed while they were affixed.
In order to minimize the risk, people wearing braces should make sure that they are maintaining their oral hygiene as best as they can. It is also advisable to avoid using any whitening solutions until the braces are removed.
Does charcoal help with teeth staining?
This is one of the most common questions that people ask when it comes to tooth discoloration. Countless blogs and so-called specialists claim that activated charcoal can help to remove discoloration naturally by removing toxins and odor.
While there are many people who claim this has transformed their smile, there is actually no scientific proof behind this, and there is actually a range of negative side effects that could occur.
Is teeth staining reversible?
Seeing your bright and white smile begin to deteriorate can be very worrying, and many people wonder if they will be able to get their smile back. Thankfully, no matter whether an individual has surface staining, under the surface staining, or age-related staining, they can all benefit from teeth whitening solutions.
How do I know if I need teeth whitening?
If you are beginning to feel self-conscious about your smile, then it is likely time to speak to your dental professional.
They will be able to examine your teeth and compare the differing levels of discoloration to determine whether you would be able to benefit from a teeth whitening procedure. They will also be able to help you identify what could be causing it, allowing you to adapt your lifestyle.
Do whitening products really help with teeth staining?
There is a range of different teeth whitening procedures available which can help you. Each of these have their various pros and cons and can help you restore your smile in different ways.
It is always best to speak with your dentist before undertaking any teeth whitening procedures as they will be able to advise you on finding the best option for your teeth.
When is the best time for teeth whitening?
If there is an underlying cause of your discoloration, such as decay, then it is always best to visit your dentist and have these issues fixed before attempting any whitening. This will ensure that you will not face the stains returning once your teeth have been whitened.
Is teeth whitening permanent?
While it is very effective at helping you to remove stains, teeth whitening procedures are not a permanent solution, and poor dental health or lifestyle choices will see those stains beginning to return. It is not uncommon to find patients having multiple whitening treatments over their lifetime, but good oral hygiene will help to reduce the number of times.
Are there side effects to having your teeth whitened?
Having your teeth whitened is an incredibly common and safe procedure, and the vast majority of patients will experience no side effects or complications from having their teeth lightened.
However, in instances where the products have been overused, such as those home kits, then patients might find that their teeth have become a little sensitive.
Continuous overuse of teeth whitening products can also cause permanent damage to your enamel, resulting in long-term pain and sensitivity alongside permanent discoloration.
How much does it cost to have your teeth whitened?
There are a huge array of different options available to you, and some over-the-counter solutions can cost under $50. However, professional whitening services can cost several hundred dollars, but despite this higher cost, the results are often much stronger.
Having a bright, white smile can transform your confidence and let you feel comfortable engaging with anyone. If you are finding that discoloration is causing you to feel self-conscious, speak to your dentist today, and they will be able to help you with a plan to restore your smile!