After a nice evening with your family at your favorite Italian restaurant, you head home to tuck in for the night. After putting the kids to bed, you go to brush your teeth and get ready for bed. You stop to look closer at your smile and realize there are still stains from the wine you had with dinner, even after you finished brushing.
“How does this occur?” you wonder. Is there a way to prevent new stains in the future? Your dentist in River Oaks explains how teeth get stained and how to avoid future stains.
Knowing What Beverages to Avoid
Your teeth may feel smooth to the touch, but your tooth’s enamel is actually very porous. This allows acidic foods and drinks to break down your enamel and fill in your teeth, including:
- dark berries (blueberries, blackberries)
- black teas
Foods like wine, coffee, dark berries, and pomegranates all contain rich pigments which can stain teeth. A good way to remember what foods will stain your teeth is to consider how they would stain your clothing as well.
To prevent some stains at home, brush your teeth after every meal and rinse your mouth out with water after drinking wine, coffee, or other foods that can stain your teeth. Avoid using tobacco as it causes teeth to become dramatically discolored over time.
Fluoride Treatment Can Affect Your Teeth’s Appearance
Another way teeth can stain is via an extremely common condition known as fluorosis. This is characterized by hypomineralization of tooth enamel and is caused by excessive fluoride exposure during enamel formation. Patients with white lines, streaks, or spots on their teeth most likely consumed too much fluoride prior to their teeth erupting.
To prevent your children from developing fluorosis, keep track of the amount of fluoride they consume at a young age. Make sure when brushing they don’t use more toothpaste than necessary. Children 3 years old and younger should not be using more than a rice grain-sized amount and children 3-8 years old should not be using more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush.
Understanding Enamel Hypoplasia
Enamel Hypoplasia is an enamel deficiency that takes the form of grooves, pits, or lines inside your teeth. It can cause localized discoloring in teeth, sometimes taking on a dark brown color. It can appear either through genes or through environmental factors during an infant’s development.
For mild cases, your dentist in River Oaks may recommend bleaching with hydrogen peroxide to appear whiter next to the rest of their teeth. To prevent this condition early on, make sure your child is getting enough vitamin A and D in their diet which assists in strengthening developing teeth.
Consult your local dentist to learn more on how to fix discoloration in your smile today!
About the Author
Dr. John Krell earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Houston and pursued dental school at the University of Texas. He is a current member of several associations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the American Dental Association. To learn more about his practice, you can visit his website or contact him at (713) 877-1775.