women drinking coffee holding a toothbrush

What to Do with Stained Teeth

Do you have stained or discolored teeth? The cause could be from the foods you’re eating or changes going on inside the tooth. Some foods, such as coffee, wine or cola can stain the outer extrinsic layer of your tooth enamel. If you love certain foods but hate the stains they leave on your teeth, there are ways to work around the problem. Some stains and discoloration are due to intrinsic problems with the inner structure of the teeth that darkens or takes on a yellow hue. There are ways to remove deep stains as well as those on the surface. When removal doesn’t work, there are cosmetic restorative methods that can return your smile to bright, white and dazzling. Learn what foods to avoid (or work around), how to avoid stains and what to do if your teeth are already stained.

How You Get Stained Teeth

Have your teeth taken on a yellowish hue? You’re not alone. The teeth naturally become less white over time from the foods you eat and the drinks you ingest. Your teeth may also become less white because of your oral hygiene habits. There are some common culprits that cause you to have stained teeth that include:

  • Coffee – About 83% of Americans start their day off with coffee and average 3 cups a day. The caffeine in coffee may get you through part of your day, but you are staining your teeth in the process. Coffee contains acidic polyphenols called tannins that lead to discolored and stained teeth.
  • Tea – Tea also contains acidic polyphenols, meaning that you get stained teeth just as easily drinking tea as you do drinking coffee.
  • Berries – Berries that have rich pigment, such as blueberries, blackberries and pomegranates, can stain the teeth fairly quickly. Foods that tend to be difficult to remove from clothing tend to be foods that cause stained teeth as well.
  • Wine – You want to avoid red wine, as it can cause the teeth to turn more gray. This wine has ingredients similar to tea and coffee that cause stains. White wine won’t cause stains, but it’s acidity will erode your enamel more than other wines, allowing stains from other foods to set in easier.
  • Foods with Dyes – Foods that are naturally very pigmented (such as we mentioned with berries) are foods you want to avoid. You should also add all drinks to your list that have added dyes that make the drinks any dark shade of red or purple. These dyes will stain the teeth quicker than other colors.

Teeth Whitening Products

What can you do about all those teeth stains? Teeth whitening is your best option for safe stain-removal and brightening. There are over-the-counter whiteners, toothpastes and in-office treatments that can help make your teeth pearly white once more. Toothpastes themselves don’t actually have whitening ingredients that make your teeth whiter; they only work to remove surface stains through brushing the teeth. The American Dental Association tells us that a “whitening” product is any product that makes the teeth appear whiter. Toothpastes can help your teeth appear whiter, but that is only through brushing away food particles and debris on a daily basis.

For true teeth whitening, you need a product with peroxides which actually bleach the teeth. Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are bleaching agents that change the color of your teeth. Many over-the-counter products in the forms of strips and gels contain about 3.5% hydrogen peroxide. These can be effective at whitening your teeth. However, the best whitening power is found through an in-office treatment.

Restorative Dentistry with Teeth Whitening

Only an in-office whitening treatment can give you the highest dose of whitening power in the shortest amount of time. We offer a Sapphire Teeth Whitening service that is fast, safe, and gentle for the teeth. This whitening is perfect for patients who want significant results in a short amount of time and who don’t have time for multiple office visits. Over-the-counter treatments can get your teeth whiter in several weeks. However, an in-office treatment can get those pearly whites shining in just one visit. The entire visit takes no more than 30-60 minutes total.

We combine whitening gel with Plasma Arc Light to whiten the teeth. Discomfort with over-the-counter treatments is common. However, with an in-office treatment using the Plasma Arc Light system, we are able to provide teeth whitening with minimal or nonexistent discomfort. Patients can also reuse this service. If you have stained teeth, you can fix them in less than an hour.

Your Brighter Smile

If you’re like most people, your teeth probably aren’t as bright as you’d like them to be. With our Sapphire Teeth Whitening System, you could have a whiter smile in no time! However, you will have to monitor you food and drink intake to avoid stained teeth once more. If you’d like to know more about our Sapphire Teeth Whitening treatment, call our Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies office today at (970) 223-8425!