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Why Do Teeth Stain and What Can You Do About It?

When you smile in the mirror, are you happy with your teeth? If the answer is “no” it may be due to staining and discoloration. Many individuals find that, over time, their white smile begins to yellow. This is often caused by eating certain foods or drinks. Read on to learn more about different types of stains and how you can treat them.

Types of Tooth Stains

There are two types of stains that can cause tooth discoloration. These include intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains develop inside the tooth enamel and can be due to a mother’s antibiotic use while pregnancy or a child’s exposure to fluoride. Extrinsic stains are stains on the surface of the teeth that can be caused by drinking certain beverages, eating certain foods, or using tobacco products.

Common foods that cause tooth discoloration and staining include:

Pasta sauce- is very acidic, which causes its bright red hue to cling to the teeth.

Curry- its deep pigmentation can yellow the teeth over time.

Balsamic vinegar- its dark natural color sticks to the teeth which can lead to staining if not quickly brushed away.

Berries- blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries, in particular, can cause staining due to their deep hue.

Beverages- many beverages including coffee, tea, sodas, sports drinks, and wine can cause staining due to their acidity. Try to stick to water as much as possible to avoid staining.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a great way to eliminate both intrinsic and extrinsic stains. If you are interested in teeth whitening to eliminate these stubborn stains, be sure to speak with your dentist to determine the type of stain you have, and which treatment options would work best for you.

Whitening at Home – These options can include over-the-counter toothpaste, mouthwashes, paint-on gels, or white strips. At our office, we also offer gel trays that can be used at home to help whiten the teeth.

In-Office Whitening – This form of whitening can be done in-office, and may require one to three visits, depending on the level of whitening you would like to see. At our office, we offer laser teeth whitening, to remove years of stains in less than an hour.

Contact our Grand Rapids office today to learn more about tooth whitening to help you achieve a brilliant smile!

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