Few things are as unsightly as brown or yellowed teeth. It makes a quick impression on people, and many are self-conscious about their discolored teeth. In order to prevent tooth staining, it is important to know what causes it and what your options are for reversing the effects. With that in mind, we’ve gathered some of the biggest causes of tooth staining, along with the whitening options you have available to you. For teeth whitening in Glen Mills, call Brandywine Smile Center to schedule your appointment today!

-What Causes Teeth Stains?

Aging:

One of the most common causes of stained teeth is something that affects every one of us: growing older. As we age, teeth get darker due to wear and tear, as well as an accumulation of stains over time. Because of this, teenagers will see the most immediate change in their teeth color after whitening. Starting in the 20s, teeth begin to show a bit more yellow, and whitening will take a bit more effort. Then in the 40s, yellow turns into brown, and it will require more maintenance to undo the effects. At 50, staining that has occurred over many years will stack on top of itself, resulting in incredibly stubborn stains that are difficult, yet not impossible, to get rid of. All of this is exasperated by enamel eroding as a natural part of aging, which causes stains to be much more apparent.

Starting Color:

When we’re born, our teeth have a natural color, which can range from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey. That natural color will intensify over time. Naturally yellow-brown teeth are typically more responsive to whitening than green-grey teeth.

Translucency and Thinness:

These genetic traits can become more evident with aging as well. While teeth naturally have some translucency, opaque and thick teeth have a clear advantage, in as much as they have a lighter color, show much more sparkle, and are very responsive to whitening strategies, such as bleaching. In contrast, thinner and more transparent teeth contain less of the pigment required for bleaching to do its job. At this point in time, cosmetic dentists say transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any type of teeth whitening.

Eating Habits:

What you eat has a massive effect on just about every part of your body, not least of which is your teeth. If you consistently drink or eat things, like red wine, coffee, tea, soda, carrots, oranges, or any other beverages and foods that are deeply-colored, you’re at a much higher risk of considerable staining. Another factor to consider is the effect of acidic foods, such as citrus fruits and vinegar, which can cause your enamel to erode. When enamel erodes away, your teeth become more transparent, revealing the yellow-shaded dentin within your tooth.

Smoking:

When you smoke tobacco, the nicotine leaves behind brownish deposits, which then soak into the teeth, causing intrinsic staining.

Drugs / Chemicals:

Using Tetracycline, an antibiotic also known as Sumycin, as teeth begin to form will produce dark grey or brown ribbon stains, which are very tough to remove. Overconsumption of fluoride can cause fluorosis, resulting in white mottling of the teeth, as well as calcification of the ligaments if it is severe.

Grinding:

Often caused by high levels of stress, teeth grinding (also referred to as gnashing and bruxing) can cause small cracks in the teeth, which wears down the structure of the enamel. The biting edges of the teeth can also become much darker after long periods of grinding them.

Trauma:

A fall or other facial injury can cause large cracks to form in the teeth, which makes them more susceptible to collecting large amounts of stains and debris.

-What Are Your Whitening Options?

There are three predominant options for teeth whitening available at this time. All three options utilize a varying amount of peroxide and how long they are applied. Those whitening options are:

  • In-Office, Professional Whitening
  • Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Kits
  • Over-the-Counter Products

In-Office Professional Whitening:

The biggest benefit of getting your teeth whitened professionally in a dentist’s office is how quickly it can make a significant change to the color of your teeth. In-office whitening utilizes a carefully controlled application of a relatively high-concentration peroxide gel, which is applied your teeth either by the dentist or trained technician. To protect your gums, the dentist will use a paint-on rubber dam. This peroxide gel will stay on the teeth for multiple 15 to 20 minute intervals, up to an hour all together at most. Stubborn stains may require more than one session in-office, or even continued treatment with an at-home kit.

Professionally Dispensed Take-Home Kits:

Many dentists believe that take-home whitening kits may be the best option for long-term whitening. n easy-to-use, lower-concentration peroxide gel is typically applied to the teeth for an hour or longer, while some are designed to be applied overnight. The lower the percentage of peroxide in the gel, the longer it can safely stay on the teeth. It is applied to the teeth using custom-made bleaching trays, which closely resemble a mouth guard.

Over-the-Counter Products:

The most affordable and convenient option for whitening teeth, a store-bought whitening kit will contain a bleaching gel that is less concentrated than the peroxide gel found in a professionally dispensed take-home whitening kit. It can be applied to the teeth either with a one-size-fits-all tray, whitening strips, or paint-on applicators. This may only result in a few of the front teeth being whitened, unlike custom trays, which can whiten an entire smile.

A whiter, brighter smile is incredibly enticing, and if you avoid the common causes of tooth stains and find the best whitening option for you, a beautiful smile can be all yours. Of course, all of this will only work if you follow a daily oral health routine of brushing and flossing. If you’re looking for teeth whitening services in Glen Mills, look no further than Brandywine Smile Center. There’s nothing we love more than helping someone get the smile of their dreams. Call us today to schedule your smile rehab today!