Understanding the cause of teeth staining can help improve dental hygiene practice and oral care habits.
Two Types of Tooth Stains
1. Extrinsic Stains. This stain appears on the tooth surface. It can be removed through professional polishing or scaling. Stains can be due to food dye, beverages, mouth rinse and the presence of colour-producing bacteria (chromogenic bacteria) and poor dental hygiene. Plaque bacteria (biofilm) on tooth surface absorb these stains and accumulate on teeth.
2. Intrinsic Stains. This type of stain is seen inside the tooth and can’t be removed by professional cleaning. There are several reasons why a stain develops inside the tooth. Antibiotic use, particularly tetracycline; infection, trauma and dental fluorosis or excessive ingestion of fluoride, which can weaken the enamel and cause brown spots on the teeth, are the leading causes of intrinsic stains.
Different Stain Color and Their Sources
The sources of stain can be determined by the color, and the patient’s lifestyle, diet, environmental and dental hygiene. This helps identify the most effective solution to manage and remove staining.
See chart below:
How to Prevent Your Teeth from Turning Yellow
Your pediatric dentist may create personalized treatment plans to prevent and remove stains, which may vary depending on the extent of the stain. Usually, when the plaque is eliminated, most extrinsic stains can’t stick to smooth tooth surface.
Thus, to prevent your teeth from turning yellow, it is important to follow these tips:
- Keep good gum and teeth care by visiting your dentist regularly for scaling to get rid of stains, calculus or hardened plaque.
- Brush your teeth twice a day using a soft toothbrush and fluoridate toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth at least once daily.
- Scrape your tongue every day as harmful bacteria can accumulate on this part.
- Use a mouth rinse suggested by your dentist.
- Decrease intake of sugar and eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
- Avoid beverages that can stain teeth.