Many people find that, despite their best efforts, their teeth start to look discolored or stained over time. The truth is that environmental stains can sneakily compound over time; sometimes we don’t even notice them until they become severe. Today, our Elmhurst dentists are giving you some useful information about how environmental stains develop, and what you can do to minimize them.
The first step is to understand the major threats to your bright, white smile:
- Deeply saturated foods and drinks
Red sauces, chocolate, and red wine can all stain dental enamel with repeated exposure.
- Dental Acid
When your teeth come into contact with acidic substances, your dental enamel is temporarily softened, making more porous and vulnerable. The more acidic substances you consume—like fruit juices, sodas, and wine—the more likely you are to develop yellow or dull looking teeth. It also matters how you consume acidic treats; it is better to eat or drink them in short sittings, rather than continuously throughout the day, so as to limit the amount of time your enamel is soft.
By maintaining excellent oral hygiene habits, you can fight back against dental staining:
- Keep up with your oral hygiene plan
Make sure that you follow all of your dentist’s recommendations when it comes to brushing, flossing, and completing professional dental cleanings. You may also consider incorporate whitening toothpaste or mouth rinse formulations into your routine.
- Rinse your smile
Get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water when you finish eating or drinking. Not only does this flush out dental debris, it also stimulates saliva production.
- Wait 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure to brush
Remember that acidic substances temporarily soften enamel. Well, enamel stays soft for about 20 to 30 minutes after acid exposure. Refrain from brushing your teeth during this time, as you may inadvertently erode enamel.
Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you treat existing discoloration, and to minimize future stains. So, give our office a call to get started! We look forward to speaking with you.