Are you tired of looking in the mirror and seeing yellow, stained teeth? While having your teeth professionally whitened may provide a temporary fix, you'll also want to get to the bottom of what's causing the staining so you can avoid it – and prevent additional staining in the future. Here's a look at common culprits.
If you smoke tobacco, this is almost certain to be why your teeth are yellow. And it's not just cigarettes that are to blame. Pipes, cigars, and even chewing tobacco can cause dental staining. Quitting completely is definitely your best option, though if you're unable to quit, switching to vaping may help. Vaping liquids are typically clear, so while you'll still be prone to the health effects of nicotine, you won't be staining your teeth.
Drinking Coffee and Red Wine
So many people sip coffee throughout the day or red wine throughout the evening. Everyone has a different predisposition to staining, so just because you have friends who can do this and maintain white teeth does not mean you can, too. Switch to herbal tea or white wine if you want to keep your smile whiter.
Certain antibiotics, the best known of which is tetracycline, can cause stained teeth. This staining is most likely to occur if you are given the antibiotic as a child. Tetracycline staining is harder to get rid of than staining due to other causes, but your dentist should be able to minimize its appearance with veneers or crowns. In the future, tell your doctor that you developed staining from an antibiotic you took. They may be able to prescribe a different one that's less likely to cause this issue.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Even if you don't have any of the staining "habits" discussed above, failing to brush and floss your teeth properly can cause your teeth to yellow. Plaque, the bacteria-laden film that builds up on your teeth, has a yellow quality. If left in place for too long, it can impart this yellow look more permanently on your teeth. Start brushing twice a day with a whitening toothpaste and flossing daily – not matter what – after your whitening procedure. You'll stand a much better chance of actually keeping your teeth white.
If you're really concerned about preventing future stains, talk to your dentist. They can recommend a toothpaste and cleaning regimen that's ideal for your own needs and can help prevent stains from forming. Contact a professional like George J Mendel DMD to learn more.