As a cosmetic dentist in West Linn, our team at Dugger Dentistry understands the importance of a great looking smile. Not only can a brilliantly bright set of pearly white teeth improve your complexion and make you look younger, a healthier looking smile can also dramatically improve your self-confidence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, years of eating and drinking tooth-staining items can rob even the healthiest of smiles of a little luster.
There are a variety of reasons why teeth turn yellow. In fact, it’s completely natural for teeth to slowly become darker as we get older. That’s because our tooth enamel begins to wear down as we age, allowing the inner dentin to show through.
Dentin – the delicate interior that houses the pulp and nerves vital for the health of teeth – has a yellowish color. As more dentin becomes exposed, the more yellow our teeth begin to appear. Other causes of yellow teeth include prescription medications – such as those for hypertension and chemotherapy – excessive fluoride exposure at a young age, and oral trauma. While some of these causes exist outside of our control, others depend on our daily habits.
To help rejuvenate your smile, here are a few ways you can prevent stains and keep your teeth looking healthy and bright for years to come.
Adjust Your Lifestyle
By far, the biggest factor that contributes to stains is your daily lifestyle. Habits such as smoking, and regularly drinking coffee, tea, soda, and wine all contribute to dimming your smile. Even the foods you eat – like berries, tomatoes, and soy sauce – can negatively impact the complexion of your smile. As a rule-of-thumb, if it stains the carpet, it stains the mouth.
By reducing your intake of these types of foods and drinks – and by quitting smoking – you can prevent your teeth from staining so you can keep smiling brightly. However, if the thought of saying goodbye to your morning mocha is too much, you can also try rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking or eating these types of tooth-staining items. You can also try drinking beverages like soda and tea from a straw, which helps the liquid from ever coming into contact with your tooth enamel.
Stop Grinding Your Teeth at Night
A surprising contributor to yellowing teeth you probably don’t suspect – grinding your teeth at night. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is an often unconscious habit that primarily occurs at night during sleep. The extra stress grinding at night places on your teeth can contribute to premature aging that causes discoloration since the motion eventually wears down tooth enamel to reveal the yellowish dentin that lies beneath.
Because nighttime grinding occurs while asleep, the majority of people don’t know they even suffer from bruxism. Fortunately, Dr. Dugger can spot the signs of a grinding habit during routine exams. If Dr. Dugger spots the signs of grinding, he can offer potential treatment options to help you stop this destructive habit.
Practice Quality Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent the premature aging of your teeth is by practicing quality daily oral hygiene. This means brushing twice a day for at least two minutes at a time, and flossing daily. By practicing these helpful habits, you remove harmful bacteria and food particles that linger in the mouth after eating from the surface of your teeth. When left alone, these substances can contribute to the breakdown of tooth enamel and staining. If your teeth are healthy enough, you can even make the switch to using a whitening toothpastes to help brighten your smile. Whitening toothpastes contain abrasive agents that work to scrub stains from the surface of your teeth. Unfortunately, whitening toothpaste can’t help teeth discolored due to enamel thinning. In fact, patients who suffer from reduced enamel should actually avoid using these brands of toothpaste as they could do more harm than good.
See Your Cosmetic Dentist in West Linn
As an experienced West Linn cosmetic dentist, Dr. Dugger can dramatically improve the shade and complexion of your smile in just one visit. With the use of custom-made whitening trays, Dr. Dugger can noticeably transform the color of your teeth several shades lighter. Simply fill the tray with the special whitening agent we provide, place the tray over the front, bottom, or both rows of your teeth, and wear the tray for the recommended amount of time. Once your teeth reach the desired shade, you can discontinue the daily use of your whitening trays, and simply reapply the treatment whenever a touch up is needed. That’s it! Getting the brilliantly bright smile you’ve always wanted couldn’t be any easier.
For whitening treatments to be successful, patients must be in good oral health prior to starting the treatment. Unfortunately, teeth whitening treatments cannot help patients who suffer from tooth discoloration due to enamel thinning. Schedule a teeth whitening treatment with Dr. Dugger today to see if your teeth are healthier enough for whitening.
Dental veneers have a variety of uses, including altering the shape and color of your teeth. Veneers are made from incredibly thin porcelain or resin shells that cover the tooth and improve the aesthetic of discolored teeth. Veneers make a great choice for patients suffering from enamel thinning. Dr. Dugger can adjust the shade of the veneer to match other teeth or to improve the appearance of a tooth that has darkened. Porcelain veneers are stain-resistant and can last for years before a replacement is needed.