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30th July 2015

Tooth Staining

Teeth are naturally shaded yellow, but differences between individuals are vast. As people become more and more self-conscious, the colour of your teeth is becoming a crucial part of your appearance. Whiter teeth and nicer smiles have connotations with better health, greater wealth and leave lasting impressions. Genetics, age and diet play important factors in determining tooth colour. For people who have naturally yellow teeth, tooth whitening is a simple, safe and cost effective method of improving tooth colour and shine. As you age, you may find your teeth become darker in colour. Tooth whitening is an option that is available to everyone regardless of age and how bad you think your teeth may be.

Lifestyle choices causes stain to build up on the teeth, but do not change the colour of your teeth. Prevention is always better than cure, so changing the foods you eat can change the rate of stain build up on your teeth. Highly staining drinks are strong teas and coffees especially if they are black. Red wine, cola also cause stains to build up and remain, giving the appearance of darker teeth. Rinsing with water can help reduce build up.
Smoking can cause cancer, gives you bad breath, risks gum disease and is a cause of tooth staining. Best practice is to quit smoking altogether. If you cannot reduce to the minimal amount and use a filter to reduce the quantity of toxins you inhale. If you suffer from gum problems, professional gum cleaning maybe necessary.

A dental hygienist can remove staining on your teeth leaving you with a set of polished sparkly pearly whites. Today all patients have direct access to a dental hygienist so do not need to book in with the dentist first, although you are always advised to see your dentist at your allocated recall intervals.

Cleaning aids such as floss, interdental cleaning aids and manual tooth brushes reduce staining build up. A minimum requirement is brushing twice daily with a fluoride containing toothpaste. Using a sonic or electric toothbrush is a sound investment. Brushing with salt, bicarbonate of soda and whitening toothpastes are extremely abrasive for daily use and will cause your teeth to wear down leaving you with the potential of costly dental bill later. They can be used maximum once per week.

Mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine gluconate and cetylpyridinium chloride cause stain build up with long term use and should ideally be used short term.

A dental professional provide you with a tailored approach to your teeth and can help advise you how to improve your smile. If in doubt please ask, we are always here to help.

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