Dental Tips Blog

Apr
22

5 Surprising Causes of Tooth Stain

Posted in Teeth Whitening

No one is a fan of tooth stain. You do all you can to keep your teeth as white and bright as possible. Preventing discoloration can feel like an uphill battle.

Here are a few common but little known causes of teeth staining. Getting a better idea of what’s behind your dark buildup can help you avoid it.

  1. Sports Drinks

Most people attribute tooth stain to dark-colored liquids. A pale blue or bright yellow bottle of sports drink doesn’t sound like a formula for dark teeth. But sports drinks contain high levels of sugar and acids that wear away enamel. As enamel thins, the yellow dentin shows through.

Dyes in the drink will also cause stain when they stick to the worn-away spots.

  1. Antibiotics

Tetracyclines are a class of antibiotics that cause stain from the inside out on developing teeth. The stain shows up dark brown or gray in the teeth of children who had this medication or whose mothers took the antibiotic while pregnant.

  1. Fluoride

If you’re a coffee drinker, then it’s more likely the brew rather than your fluoride toothpaste causing the stain. But, too much ingested fluoride can cause white spots to form in developing teeth. That’s one reason why children shouldn’t swallow toothpaste.

  1. Trauma

Smacking a tooth hard enough can cause nerve damage years later. A dying nerve will discolor the tooth on the inside.

  1. Age

As we get older, our enamel thins and denting (the yellow tooth layer) thickens. Teeth naturally get yellow with time.

How you whiten your teeth often depends on what caused the stain to begin with.  Over the counter teeth whitening products are not as effective as professional teeth whitening and may not have any effect on certain types of tooth stains or discolorations.   For effective teeth whitening or treating stubborn tooth discolorations,  contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Mar
31

The Perfectly White Smile – At What Cost?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Many Americans are known for doing anything to attain that perfect smile.

DIY whitening materials have included baking soda, strawberries, charcoal, lemon juice, and hydrogen peroxide. In addition to this, there are countless in-office treatments and over-the-counter products.

There’s no end to the experimentation in sight!

Society places a lot of emphasis on having a beautiful smile. Even young kids whose new teeth are naturally dark feel ashamed of their smiles in comparison with those in the images they’re constantly bombarded with.

But this fascination with bleaching tooth color comes at a price.

Professional treatments can seem expensive, so the OTC and DIY methods have the economic appeal. There are so many options available to virtually everyone.

What harm can come from a little experimentation with tooth color?

Whitening at home can potentially result in:

  • Spending hundreds on countless disappointing whitening attempts
  • Irritation to areas of decay or gum recession
  • Burned gums
  • Enamel sensitivity

Did you know that teeth bleaching is a tightly regulated procedure in most countries? Although considered a safe cosmetic enhancement in the United States, teeth whitening is nothing to take lightly.

If you want to enhance your appearance, whitening can be great way to do so. It’s a minimal change with major impact. Bleaching takes years off your smile, makes you look healthier, and can boost your confidence.

But the best way is to whiten is with dentist supervision. This way, you’re guaranteed a fast and effective one-time process that won’t damage your teeth or gums. You’ll also see a better return on investment.

Talk with your dentist about how to get brighter teeth in one go without throwing away your money on an endless line of questionable whitening products.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Feb
11

Is Teeth Whitening Dangerous?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Tooth color makes a major difference in your appearance. White teeth can help you look healthier and younger. As such, teeth bleaching is a fast way to boost your smile and enhance your overall look.

But you may be a little suspicious of the chemical-approach used in traditional teeth whitening methods.

Is it safe or should you stay away from teeth bleaching?

How Teeth Whitening Works

The main two ways of whitening teeth include scrubbing away surface stain and bleaching out stain that’s deeply embedded in enamel.

Gritty abrasives like baking soda or powdered charcoal are alright for buffing away new stain that causes surface discoloration. But a peroxide-based formula can penetrate the enamel pores to lift old stain.

Too Much of a Good Thing

As effective as these teeth whitening methods are, they can cause some harm when used too much.

For example, using abrasives to scrub out stain can also scrub away some enamel. Bleaching with products that contain peroxide easily lead to enamel sensitivity and gum irritation.

But these negative effects have to do with using the product too often and/or using too much of it. Professional teeth bleaching is safe when you follow the directions that come with it.

In short, teeth whitening is not dangerous as long as you do it properly. The best way to lighten your teeth is to consult a dental professional.

Your dentist can also help you find an effective alternative if you decide that you do not want to try bleaching. You can get a whiter smile with the help of dental bonding, veneers, or just a professional teeth cleaning.

Get started on a healthier and whiter smile by contacting your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Dec
19

Tips For Making Your Teeth Less Sensitive

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Sensitive teeth is one problem you can’t easily ignore. When your teeth are screaming in pain, it’s almost impossible to sleep well or eat your favorite foods. It even gets hard to breathe through your mouth due to the air rushing over your tooth.  Sensitive teeth can be caused by a variety of factors, but one common cause of sensitive teeth is teeth whitening.  Fortunately, tooth sensitivity following teeth whitening is usually temporary.

Here are a few things you can try to help fight the sensitivity and get back to enjoying life.

Use a desensitizing toothpaste. Yes, they actually work. Sensitivity toothpastes are formulated with ingredients that help block up pores in the enamel where the tooth’s nerves may be exposed. 

Avoid extreme temperatures. For simple biological reasons, some people have more sensitive teeth and can’t handle sudden changes in temperature. Don’t eat scalding hot soup along with ice water, if you can help it.

Change dental products. Have you checked your toothbrush lately? A hard-bristled toothbrush could be wearing away your enamel. Switch to a soft one.

Cut out acidic foods and drinks. Coffee, tea, soda, tomato sauces, salad dressings, citrus fruits, and more are notorious for wearing away teeth. Balance out your diet with items that fall on the basic end of the pH scale.

Up the fluoride. A little more of this mineral in your “tooth diet” could strengthen your teeth and reinforce the enamel.

Try dental bonding. Your dentist may be able to patch up any weak spots or exposed tooth roots with a bit of dental bonding to cover them up.

Visit your dentist. Sometimes, it can feel like nothing you do helps. Your dentist may have some ideas to help you figure out what’s actually causing the sensitivity.

Get relief for sensitive teeth! Contact your dentist today to schedule a checkup.

Posted on behalf of:
Allen Dentistry
551 W McDermott Dr
Allen, TX 75013
(972)359-9950

Nov
30

Three Common Tooth Staining Foods

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Tooth color can be affected by a variety of influences…heck, some people are just born with gorgeous white teeth. Here are three foods and beverages that while delicious tasting, may also contribute to less-than-stellar-looking teeth. 

Coffee

We love our Starbucks, but most of us don’t love yellow teeth. Tip: Don’t bathe your poor teeth in coffee all day. Try to choose one time of day when the bulk of your coffee is consumed (probably mornings) and brush your teeth right after. This will hopefully slow the yellowing process.

Tea

Tea is another big offender, and it’s not just the hot tea that you sip with Grandma. It’s that healthy green tea that you got at the health food store. It’s that famous sweet tea you always order at your favorite restaurant. It causes some of the worst brown stain between your teeth and behind them (& makes every hygienist earn her paycheck to get it to come off.)

Colorful berries

So much research has come out about the antioxidant benefits found in certain fruits that it’s no wonder that blueberries and raspberries have become so popular. While healthy for your insides, we can’t say the same about the outside of your teeth. Blue eyes are beautiful. Blue teeth? Not so much.

Can whitening remove these stains?

Absolutely! One short 10-minute appointment for custom bleaching tray impressions is all it takes. If your teeth have not been professionally cleaned in awhile, we highly recommend you do that first (or even at the same appointment). Once the dentist has given you a clean bill of health (no cavities) you’ll be free to start using your teeth whitening trays and making those pearly whites…white!

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Oct
16

How to Get a Perfectly White Smile

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Don’t you just envy those perfectly-white teeth that little kids have?

Tragically, we’ll never get such naturally white teeth again once the baby ones are lost. But you can get pretty close, thanks to a variety of cosmetic therapies offered in dentistry today.

Start At Home

You can try your best to lighten your tooth color at home. Over-the-counter whitening rinses and strips have helped lots of people achieve a hue they’re happy with. A whitening toothpaste with an abrasive like baking soda may also help scrub away some stain.

But for more powerful results, you’ll have to go pro.

Professional Teeth Bleaching

The next step up is in-office teeth whitening by your local dentist. This is definitely the safest and fastest way to get the whitest smile of your life. One or two visits could take years off your smile and give you a fresh start.

Professional whitening gel contains a very high concentration of bleaching chemicals. That’s why it’s only available for use in a supervised setting.

As potent as such procedures may be, there are still some cases of deep and stubborn stain that refuse to leave. What then?

The Cover Up Tactic

For the most thoroughly white smile every, you may have to opt for dental veneers. These are usually made of porcelain and completely mask dark colors on front teeth.

In fact, you may enjoy the combined effect of whitening and veneers. The veneers will give the teeth in your smile zone a permanent brilliance while the bleaching will help maintain a light color for your back teeth. Ask your dentist which whitening method will suit your smile best.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000

Sep
22

Can Your Dentist Get Your Teeth Any Whiter?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Whether you’ve just noticed your teeth darkening, or have hated your yellow teeth for years, you’re ready for a solution.

The good news is that your dentist has a variety of methods for lightening tooth color.

Pumice Polish

A basic dental cleaning may be all you really need. At that appointment, the dental hygienist uses a paste fortified with a gentle grit made from pumice. This isn’t ideal for everyday use, but it’s great to have at your occasional dental cleanings.

The pumice is scrubbed against your teeth with a spinning rubber cup to break down superficial stain from every angle.

Air Polish

Some dental offices are equipped with a special kind of tooth polisher. This instrument jets a blast of air and baking soda particles in a powerful stream. The fine particles work exceptionally well at breaking down very stubborn stain in hard-to-reach places.

Professional Bleaching

When it comes to changing the actual color of your teeth, you need to call the pros onto the playing field.

Professional teeth bleaching treatments vary from take-home kits that let you whiten at your own pace to in-office procedures that get you results in an hour. Your dentist will let you know which teeth whitening method is right for your teeth.

Veneers

When all else fails, it may be time to cover up the crime!

Dental veneers are thin porcelain covers that slip over the front of upper teeth and completely mask deep stain. They are the best way to get the results you want in an instant, but they do require a tiny bit of drilling on your teeth.

Ask your dentist for more information on the best teeth whitening techniques.

Posted on behalf of:
Brentwood Dental Group
2440 S Brentwood Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63144
(314) 962-6643

Jul
25

What Teeth Staining Says About Your Smile

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Everyone wants a whiter smile. But few people wonder how stain gets there in the first place. Well, tackling your stain problem at it’s source is often the best way to start getting your smile white again.

Here are a few common colors of tooth stain and what they mean:

Black/Brown Stain – This is the most common kind of stain. It’s usually the result of tobacco use or consuming dark-colored foods such as coffee, tea, wine, soda, and berries.

Green/Orange Stain – You may experience a rainbow of colors in your tooth stain reflecting the variety of bacteria living in your plaque. These surface stains stay away if you are diligent with your tooth brushing.

Intrinsic Vs. Extrinsic Stain

Did you know that stain is actually grouped into two broad categories?

Some staining happens as a result of the outsides of our teeth coming in contact with dark-colored items. Other stains occur on the insides of teeth. These two types need to be corrected with different techniques.

Extrinsic (meaning, “outside”) stains can often be scrubbed away with an abrasive toothpaste. They also get scraped off at your dental cleaning appointments. The extrinsic stain that gets embedded in enamel pores can be coaxed out of there with professional teeth whitening.

But intrinsic (inner) staining shows up because of events going on inside the tooth. Intrinsic staining can happen because of an injury to the tooth or exposure to certain medications during tooth development.

Intrinsic stains can’t always be bleached out. Instead, you’re looking at cover-up dental techniques such as crowns, bonding, and veneers.

To find out how to combat the stain threats you encounter in daily life, visit your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Clearwater Dentistry
3006 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33759
727-608-4361

Jun
20

Boost Your Confidence in 1 Hour with Teeth Whitening

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Do you think you could afford to spare one hour every six months?

That could actually be all it takes to keep your smile a dazzling shade of white.

Professional teeth whitening could be your key to more confidence.

How Does Professional Teeth Bleaching Work?

Your dentist will use a medical-grade whitening gel with a high concentration of carbamide peroxide. This agent penetrates enamel pores to lift deep underlying stain.

Before whitening, you need to make sure your teeth are in good shape. If you’ve got large areas of decay, the bleaching gel can really sting!

Getting a professional teeth cleaning before you bleach will ensure more effective whitening. You can’t lighten tooth color if it’s covered up with tartar.

Prepping for Your Visit

You’ll want to come prepared with an audio book, music, or movie for your actual whitening appointment.

Treatment is very relaxing, but can last upwards of an hour, so it’s good to have something to distract you! Otherwise, feel free to take a nap.

Your dentist will apply the whitening product directly to your teeth (either through a set of trays, or a paint-on gel.) The setup will also protect your gums from any irritating effects. A bright light aimed at your smile helps speed up the process. A pair of protective sunglasses saves your eyes from the glare and adds to the spa-on-the-beach effect.

Afterwards, you’ll rinse out and get some instructions for caring for your newly brightened smile.

Will At-Home Whitening Work?

Yes, with the right product you can also achieve good results at home.

Talk with your dentist to find out which teeth whitening method is right for you. You’re going to love the results!

Posted on behalf of:
Atlantic Dentistry
13474 Atlantic Blvd Suite 109
Jacksonville FL 32225
904-647-1800

Jun
9

Is It Safe for Kids to Whiten Their Teeth?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

If you want the short answer, it’s this: no, it’s not recommended for kids to whiten their teeth. To understand why, or when it is ok for a child to whiten, this is what you need to know:

Questionable Teeth Bleaching Safety

Probably the main reason your dentist discourages whitening baby teeth is simply because we don’t yet know how teeth whitening affects developing teeth.

Additionally, teeth whitening products use strong chemicals that reach deep into enamel pores. If you overdo it, teeth can become very sensitive. Further, these chemicals can quickly cause painful gum irritation to growing tooth nerves.

Most kids go by the logic that the more you whiten, the better the results. They just aren’t ready to responsibly use the products as directed.

Why Do Kids’ Teeth Look Yellow?

Do you know the real reason your child needs teeth whitening?

Newly erupted adult teeth tend to look very dark in comparison with pearly white baby tooth neighbors. Baby teeth have less of the dentin layer than adult teeth. It’s this layer that gives teeth a yellow color.

Your child may not need whitening, at all. Their teeth just look dark as they first come in.

What You Can Do

Don’t pressure your child into having a celebrity-caliber smile. When your son or daughter grows into a responsible young teen, they may be interested in selecting whitening treatments that appeal to them.

The next consideration is your child’s oral hygiene. Kids who don’t brush well can grow stain and plaque in a whole spectrum of colors.

A trip to the dentist for a professional cleaning could do wonders. While you’re there, ask about the right time for your child to start whitening their teeth.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

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