A smile reveals a lot about a person. The sentiment is often meant figuratively, but some do take it in the literal sense. An early survey has, in fact, shown that people perceive straight, white teeth as indicators of wealth, success, and attractiveness. While some view these as unfair assessments (teeth, after all, are naturally yellow due to dentin, and some are born with dental abnormalities), there’s still truth in these assumptions.
Your teeth mirror your lifestyle. What you take into your body becomes clear in your teeth’s appearance. The signs appear early for some; but for others, the effects don’t come out until later in life. Regardless of when it manifests, the fact remains that your teeth are a record of your lifestyle choices.
Stained Teeth: The Lesser Evil
Discoloration happens when the enamel, or the outermost layer of teeth, is in constant contact with food rich in melanin, sugars, and acids. The most common culprits are coffee, wine, tea, carbonated drinks, candy, certain fruits like apples, berries, pomegranates, and tomato sauce. Hobbies like smoking and drinking also contribute to yellowing teeth.
The stains come from the dark-colored pigments from food and nicotine that stick to enamel. Brushing can remove the surface stains, but constant exposure will darken the hue. Hence, it is advisable to consult a dentist for a whitening treatment every one or two years. DIY teeth whitening kits are available, but it’s safer to have the procedure done in a dental clinic. Our dentists in Medford, for one, oversee teeth whitening treatments to avoid side-effects like sensitivity and sore gums.
If your stained teeth are due to the food you eat, it is easier to remedy your situation. Practice discipline in your diet and always brush your teeth after every meal. You should be able to curb the progression of the yellowing of your teeth this way.
Enamel Loss: A Critical Stage
Indulging in the food and drinks mentioned above may lead to a more severe condition: enamel erosion. Acid-rich food and beverages are particularly severe on enamel. Other causes of enamel loss are bulimia (an eating disorder that induces vomiting, which brings teeth into contact with harsh stomach acids), bacteria due to plaque build-up, and the excessive use of fluoride toothpaste.
Enamel loss needs urgent attention because your body cannot grow enamel back. Treatment involves strengthening the remaining enamel with fluoride and calcium — a moot effort when you have little left.
Preventive measures for enamel erosion are the same with the steps for preventing teeth stains. Observe the tips above, and you’ll have a higher chance of keeping your teeth’s enamel intact.
Teeth Whitening Requires Commitment
Adopt a healthier lifestyle if you want to keep your teeth healthy and white. Eat the right kinds of food, and if you can’t help but drink coffee every day, make up for it by maintaining good oral hygiene. Avoid vices as they cause more than teeth discoloration in the long run. Studies show that smoking, for instance, also leads to calculus formation, weak gums, gingivitis, periodontitis, bone deterioration, and tooth loss.
Avoid cultivating bad habits that impact your oral and overall physical health. Additionally, visit your dentist regularly so he or she can immediately address issues regarding teeth discoloration and enamel erosion. Schedule an appointment with First Dental today.