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What Causes Teeth to Lose Their Whiteness?

What Causes Teeth to Lose Their Whiteness?

Curious why your teeth aren't as white as they used to be? Many people experience tooth discoloration over time, but understanding the reasons behind your stained teeth can help you maintain a brighter smile. 

In this blog post, Dr. David Blaustein 一 a nationally recognized expert in cosmetic dentistry 一explores the common factors that cause teeth to lose their whiteness and how the team here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics in New York City can help you add sparkle to your smile.

Why teeth lose their whiteness

The most common causes of stained teeth include:

Food and beverages 

What you eat and drink plays a significant role in the color of your teeth. Dark-colored beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine, and foods with strong pigments like berries and curries, can stain your teeth over time. 

Additionally, highly acidic foods and drinks can erode your tooth enamel and make it easier for stains to set in.

Many stain-causing foods are high in antioxidants, so you probably don’t want to avoid them. Instead, if you eat stain-inducing foods, such as tomato-based sauces, berries, or curry dishes, rinse your mouth with water after you eat.

When drinking tea or coffee, finish your beverage in one sitting rather than sipping all day. Slow sipping exposes your teeth to more stain-causing compounds due to longer exposure. 

Smoking and tobacco use

If you smoke or use tobacco products, you likely already realize they can turn your teeth yellow or brown. The tar and nicotine found in cigarettes and tobacco can stain your teeth, not to mention their other harmful effects on your oral and overall health.

Quitting tobacco is the best way to prevent further discoloration.

Poor oral hygiene

When you neglect your oral hygiene routine, it's not just cavities and gum disease you should worry about. Inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth, which can contribute to a dull, discolored appearance.

Brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

Medications and illnesses

Certain medications and health conditions can affect the color of your teeth. For example, antibiotics like tetracycline can cause intrinsic staining, turning your teeth gray or brown. Some illnesses and treatments, such as chemotherapy, can also impact the appearance of your teeth.

If you suspect medication or illness is causing your teeth to lose whiteness, don’t adjust your medication unless directed. Instead, talk to Dr. Blaustein to explore your options.

Veneers can be a solution for permanent stains since they cover the front surfaces of your teeth.

Aging and genetics

As you age, the enamel on your teeth naturally thins, revealing the yellowish dentin underneath. That can cause your teeth to appear less white over time. Genetics also can play a role in the color of your teeth. Some people naturally have teeth more prone to discoloration.

While you can't change your age or genetics, practicing good oral hygiene can minimize discoloration.

Brighten your smile today

The good news is you’re not stuck with yellow or brown teeth forever. Here at Chelsea Dental Aesthetics, Dr. Blaustein offers several options for brightening your smile.

These include Zoom Whitening 一 a quick in-office treatment that can brighten your smile by up to eight shades. A Zoom take-home option is also available. 

Call our Manhattan office at 917-200-0219 to book your cosmetic dentistry consultation, or request your appointment online today.

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