Stained teeth can be just as embarrassing as misaligned or disfigured teeth. Even dulled and yellowed teeth may make you pause before readily sharing your smile.
But there are ways to overcome staining and restore the natural brilliance your teeth should have. It begins first with finding the cause of the discoloration and using the appropriate techniques to brighten your smile once again.
There are two types of tooth staining that can occur: Outside of the tooth (extrinsic) or Inside the tooth (intrinsic).
Extrinsic stains happen because of the structure of tooth enamel. While your teeth may feel smooth, the enamel actually contains microscopic depressions. These have a tendency to catch and retain stain-producing substances that come into our mouths. Food or beverages like red wine or tea (with chemicals called tannins) can stain, as well as tobacco. Even substances used for oral hygiene, like the anti-bacterial ingredient chlorhexidine (Corsodyl mouthwash), can stain teeth after long term use. Smoking is also a very common form of staining that can be removed.
Among its many properties, saliva helps clear the mouth of food debris after we eat. When saliva levels are too low more food particles remain in the mouth longer, increasing the potential staining effect of these foods.
Intrinsic stains on the other hand, stems from causes within the tooth. Certain materials used for dental fillings or traumatic tooth injuries can alter tooth colour significantly. In some cases, the tooth may not appear discoloured viewed by itself, but stands out in relation to nearby teeth with a different shade of colour. Antibiotic treatment, particularly tetracycline may also cause intrinsic staining if taken during tooth development as a child, however this is rare.
This depends on whether the staining has an extrinsic or intrinsic cause. For some extrinsic staining, changes in diet and lifestyle, like avoiding or limiting foods known to stain or quitting the use of any form of tobacco, will help reduce mild staining. Along with flossing, twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste that contains a whitening agent can remove stain-causing food remnants and add some brightness to your teeth. Twice-yearly visits to your dentist or hygienist for professional teeth cleaning and polishing can also reduce extrinsic staining.
Teeth whitening (or bleaching) is another option, especially for extrinsic staining that doesn’t fully respond to lifestyle or hygiene changes. Most teeth whitening choices are either home kits from your dentist, or professional applications by a dental provider. Both types use similar bleaching agents; the chemical concentrations in professional applications, though, are usually stronger, and along with other techniques can produce a brighter result with one session (as opposed to several weeks for home kits). Professional applications will also last longer on average before fading, a year or more if you limit staining foods in your diet and practice consistent hygiene.
Here at Estetica we have a fantastic offer called ZOOM TUESDAY. At only £198 for Zoom instant whitening along with a home kit (normally £450) it is the perfect combination for keeping teeth white for longer. Find out from our reception and pick up a small booklet.
Only a dentist can perform bleaching techniques for stains originating inside a tooth, since it requires access to the tooth’s interior. One such technique places a bleaching agent in a tooth’s pulp chamber during a root canal treatment before the dentist fills and seals the tooth.
Making the Right Choices for Treating Stained Teeth
Your dentist is your best source for advice on what types of treatments will work best for you and the costs involved. Knowing all the facts will help you make the right choices to brighten and reinvigorate your smile.
Gum disease is a very common condition where the gums become swollen, sore or infected. Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree.
There may be bleeding when brushing along with bad breath (please note that smokers may not get bleeding, however there may still be gum disease present. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If it is not treated it can lead toperiodontitis which affects the supporting tissues around the teeth that hold them in place causing gaps to develop between the bone and the teeth making them loose and may eventually fall out.
Smokers are at high risk of getting gum disease. There may not be bleeding when brushing or flossing due to the restriction of blood flow to the gum and surrounding tissues, therefore regular visits to the dentist and hygienistis very important.
Mild Cases of gum disease can be treated by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing every day or as regularly as you can. Regular dental check-ups are also important with the support of a dental hygienist to remove any hardened plaque (tartar) and demo of how to brush and floss effectively.
Dental Floss and Interdental Brushes helps to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance made of bacteria. If it builds up, the bacteria can irritate the gums and cause inflammation.
What if my gums bleed?
When you first start flossing, gums can become tender and bleed a little as you start to get rid of plaque build-up. Carry on flossing and the bleeding should stop as the gums become healthier and stronger. If, however, bleeding persists after a few days of flossing, visit your dentist or hygienist. They can check if you are flossing correctly.
What is the correct way to floss?
What if I find flossing difficult? Interdental brushes are an alternative tool to use if flossing is difficult. It has a small bristled head specially designed to clean between teeth. They come in different colour coded sizes and the ideal would be a snug fit when being used. Too loose and it will not remove the sticky plaque. You may need to use more than one size of brush. There are a wide variety of tools to use to clean in between teeth and the best way to find out which will suit you, is to see your dentist or hygienist.
When I was 11 I went through very uncomfortable orthodontic treatment with the fixed train tracks. Fortunately it became a trend amongst my peers as most of us had them. We loved changing the colors, so I was not subject to bullying or feeling conscious about my appearance. I still did not like them very much as the cleaning ritual took forever. After they were removed I was so pleased! My teeth looked great!
Being a teenager, of course, I did not do as I was told and so as a result did not wear my retainer as much as I was meant to, so with time my teeth moved and now look crooked again. The financial side of having dental treatment scared me, but I decided to get peoples opinion and finally get something done…
Invisible braces? That sounds incredible! I did some google searches #dentalsurgerysurrey, #straightteeth #invisalignsurrey….
Unlike fixed braces, you can remove the invisalign aligners and put them back in again at any time so you end up with the straight new smile that transforms your life.
This dental clinic stood out for me. It was simple, no extra advertisement. Their reviews were a clear indication that I will be looked after.
I called and spoke to their friendly receptionist who booked me in for an appointment.
What a beautiful clinic, feels like a spa! Truly a gem situated at the heart of Chertsey.
Dr Salimi, he completely understood my situation and was very professional. The treatment has finance options which means anyone can afford it. He examined my teeth and said I am a suitable candidate to go ahead with invisalign. I signed consent forms and finally I was ready to start!
Pictures were taken from several angles to be sent to America where they manufacture the trays. They get made there with high tech machines and precision detail. Impressions were taken and boxed to be dispatched.
CliniCheck demo appointment…
3D images of my teeth were shown to me on a screen, pre and post treatment and how they will move and look at the end of my treatment. Absolutely amazing change, I was very happy with the end result to come..
Each tray is worn for 22 hours a day, taken out when eating or drinking. He said my treatment will take approximately 18 months however this can slightly change as teeth may not move as fast as previously estimated and my own discipline wearing the trays.
I decided it is time and that I will go ahead with Invisalign. It fits my lifestyle. The treatment has given over 3 million people worldwide a reason to smile and I want to be one of them!
Invisalign Tray Fit day!...
I am ecstatic and cannot wait to try them on. This will officially be the start of my treatment the moment I put them on.
I received my first set of aligners and was surprised how easy they go in and click into place and remove. They are not uncomfortable at all. After a few hours I didn’t even realise they were there anymore. As the saliva gets into the trays they become completely invisible.
I receive my next set in 2 weeks’ time.
I can already see the change…my confidence has already elevated.
As I go through each set of aligners I can see my teeth getting closer to what I really want. The trays are still so comfortable and easy to handle and no one has noticed I am wearing them.
Month 19 Reveal Day!... ! “I broke down in tears of joy. I cannot explain the feeling of joy and relief you get.”
I went over a month as my teeth still had a little bit to go. But today was the day I had been waiting for! My aligner was removed to reveal my beautiful straight teeth! I broke down in tears of joy. I cannot explain the feeling of joy and relief you get.
I urge anyone who has suffered from having crowded teeth to go for this consultation. Dr Salimi has been extremely professional and understanding. His level of expertise and years of experience has been the best I have had during my years of dental treatment.
The surgery has a calm beautiful environment and does not feel like a sterile white hospital looking clinic.
Thank you so SO much Dr Salimi and the team! I cannot thank you enough! This has truly changed my life
Flossing and tooth brushing go hand-in-hand as the mainstays of good oral care, and proper technique is important for both activities. Using the correct techniques for twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing will help promote oral health for the long term.
Even if you've been brushing and flossing your teeth since childhood, you may have developed some bad habits over the years, such as brushing too hard, ignoring your back teeth and forgetting to floss.
Keep these techniques in mind when you brush your teeth, whether before or after flossing:
Other elements of complete oral care include brushing your tongue. You'll freshen your breath and eliminate even more cavity-causing bacteria. Also, if you’re at risk for plaque buildup or gum disease, consider adding an antiseptic mouth rinse to your complete oral care routine.