If we judge what is normal by what we see (and that’s just what we do), we might expect our smile to look bright and shining throughout our entire lifetime. There is nothing wrong with this desire. It’s completely expected when we are exposed to amazing smiles online and in movies every single day. Still, even as common as cosmetic dentistry is, many people wonder why their teeth aren’t as bright as they’d like. Here, we answer questions that people as Google but not their dentist.
- Why are my teeth stained? We are told that teeth stain because we drink coffee, tea, or red wine. That’s true, and there’s more. Your teeth may get dull as you get older because your enamel is thinning and the dentin beneath enamel is somewhat yellow. Your teeth may look dull or yellow because tiny particles from foods and beverages are sitting in the pores, yes pores, in enamel. These particles block light and make teeth look darker.
- Can activated charcoal or baking soda remove stains? This is a possible yes, but may also be a hard no once you realize how these remedies work. Tricks like making paste out of lemon and baking soda might make teeth look brighter for a short time. Using activated charcoal powder or toothpaste might, as well. However, both tactics might abrade enamel and make the surface rough, which in turn can invite plaque buildup. Also, neither does anything more than polish teeth. They do not enter the pores of enamel to break up the particles that are causing discoloration.
- Can I prevent tooth stains? No. Oh, but it would be nice if we could! While you may experience the dulling and discoloration of your smile, you also might be able to slow down how quickly these things happen. One way to do so is to rinse your mouth with water after consuming anything colored. Another is to make sure you are brushing for two full minutes, morning and night. Finally, yes, flossing also helps prevent dullness by inhibiting plaque buildup.
Dullness and discoloration may be inevitable, but your dentist has solutions that can revamp your radiant smile quickly. Contact us today to schedule teeth whitening at our NYC office.