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
16

The Truth About Whitening with Activated Charcoal

Posted in Teeth Whitening

You’ve heard all the hype on social media, DIY videos, and beauty blogs. Activated charcoal is touted for its ability to absorb toxins. It also has abrasive properties for exfoliation.

But how does it do when it comes to whitening teeth?

Please note that the charcoal people are talking about isn’t the kind you use in a backyard BBQ. This has to be the “activated” kind which has improved absorbency.

A lot of those “results” people see after just one brushing with activated charcoal are the same they would get with regular toothpaste. The charcoal just removed some of the surface plaque that naturally dulls teeth. So, don’t let a recently cleaned smile fool you into believing it’s been bleached.

Additionally, some people mistakenly believe charcoal is an alternative to fluoride. As an ingredient in most toothpastes, fluoride is an enamel-strengthener, not a whitener. Charcoal can help clean teeth, but it does not prevent cavities.

Before giving this latest fad a try, you should also think about a few of the drawbacks to using activated charcoal powder:

  • It gets very messy to brush with
  • You risk hurting your lungs if you breathe in the fine powder
  • The roughness can gradually damage enamel

If you’re the DIY enthusiast who just has to give this a try, dentists warn you to think twice. Charcoal isn’t known to actually seep into the tooth layers to bleach them and, if anything, could be harmful to teeth.

For more reliable, immediate and safer teeth whitening, you’re better off consulting your dentist. He or she will give you tips on effective home whitening and suggestions for more ideal methods than activated charcoal.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

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

Why Are My Teeth Getting Dark?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Darkening teeth is a very common problem. In fact, the market for teeth whitening has taken off in recent years. Almost everyone wants a whiter smile. But it’s not easy to get bright teeth if you don’t know what caused them to darken in the first place.

Stain From Without

Most people blame yellowing teeth on the foods that they are eating. For the most part, this is one of the biggest contributors to stain. Tooth enamel, despite it’s shiny smooth appearance, is actually quite porous. All those tiny holes are quick to soak up dark pigments from food.

Stain can also come from tobacco and medications.

Stain From Within

After years of exposure to heavily-staining foods or cigarettes, stain on the outside of the tooth can start to become deeply embedded within the tooth itself. Tooth discoloration can also occur as the result of trauma or certain disease or drug-exposure during development.

What Can You Do?

You may want to consider eliminating the stain-causing agents from your diet. This means cutting back on coffee, switching to white instead of red wine, and giving up smoking altogether.

Next, see how an over-the-counter whitening toothpaste does at scrubbing away surface stain. If you want better results, talk with your dentist about professional teeth whitening. That’s pretty much the only way you’ll even touch stain that’s deep inside your tooth.

What if stubborn stains still won’t respond? Your dentist will have other options including dental crowns and veneers to totally mask darkening teeth.

White teeth convey a message of youth, health, and beauty. Get a brighter smile by contacting your dentist today.

Posted on behalf of:
Ambler Dental Care
602 S Bethlehem Pike C-2
Ambler, PA 19002
(215) 643-1122

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

Nov
12

Why Professional Teeth Whitening Works Best

Posted in Teeth Whitening

Is teeth whitening a gimmick? Why do so many products online or in the store say that they whiten your teeth just as good as a dentist? For someone with very, very mild tooth stain, that might be the case. For everyone else, there’s nothing that compares to the results that you can get with the help of a dental professional.

You Can’t Buy Prescription Strength Products Online 

The teeth whitening solutions purchased through your dental office will be concentrated and more effective when it comes to disrupting stain particles. The specific types of gels that are sold over the counter are made of different ingredients and at lower strengths. 

Professional Treatments Guarantee Better Coverage 

Store bought kits are “one size fits some.” They aren’t contoured to the shape of your individual teeth. Because of that, it can cause uneven whitening or some areas of your teeth to be skipped over entirely…whereas what your dentist uses will fully cover each one of your teeth. 

It’s Safer to Work with Your Dentist

DIY teeth whitening products or solutions can hurt you if your teeth aren’t healthy. It’s best to have your dentist check your teeth first, to make sure it’s safe to whiten.

Some solutions can even cause tissue irritation or chemical burns if you’re not careful. Rather than having whiter teeth, you may be left with discolored, splotchy gums.

The initial investment in professional teeth whitening costs less to maintain over the course of the next several years than it does to use store-bought kits. While a DIY kit may seem cheaper, it really isn’t. Ask your dentist today to see which solution is best for your smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Arbor Dental
6471 Lone Tree Way Suite 301
Brentwood CA 94513
925-271-4642

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

Oct
8

Is Your Smile Ready for Retirement?

Posted in Teeth Whitening

What do you look forward to the most in retirement?

You’re probably eager to give more attention to hobbies like golfing, boating, art, or music. You also may look forward to extra time spent with family.

One thing that should never retire, however, is your beautiful smile. Here are a few ways you can keep your smile strong and healthy long past retirement.

Stay Hydrated

Getting lots of water is important to many healthy bodily functions. Your mouth depends on adequate water to work smoothly. Dry mouth (often caused by medication) leads to discomfort and increases your risk for decay and gum disease.

Strengthen Tooth Enamel

Your teeth may have started to show signs of wear from years of use. Now is a critical time to reinforce them. Professional fluoride treatments are good for worn enamel. Tooth roots exposed by gum recession need a special level of attention.

Don’t Neglect Basic Hygiene

Just because you may not be heading into an office from 9-5 doesn’t mean you can skip the brushing. Regular plaque removal is essential for every single person with teeth for as long as they have them. Floss daily in addition to brushing.

You Deserve The Best!

There’s no need to accept a deteriorating smile as a normal part of aging. Today, folks in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and beyond are enjoying dental treatments like:

Why not make a gorgeous smile one of your retirement projects? Let’s face it, after years of faithful service, your teeth deserve this gift! Remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year to ensure healthy teeth for a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of:
Sycamore Hills Dentistry
10082 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 213-4400

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….