What’s Sabotaging Your Whiter Smile?

Since the smile is one of the first things people notice, it comes to no surprise that teeth whitening is the most sought after cosmetic dental procedure. There are a number of causes for tooth discoloration, many of which can be avoided with simple lifestyle changes. If you are confident that your oral hygiene routine at home is top notch and you have trouble giving up habits that cause a dingy smile, you can always take advantage of professional teeth whitening from your dentist. Park South Dentistry offers teeth whitening methods that are safe and highly effective for patients in their teens through senior adults.

In an effort to maintain your professionally whitened smile and to get the most out of your investment, it is important that you are aware of the most common causes for tooth discoloration.

Poor Oral Hygiene
This may be obvious, but if you are not properly cleaning your teeth daily, there is simply no chance for that Hollywood white smile. Brushing and flossing is your first and best line of defense against tooth staining.
Food and Drinks
Certain foods and beverages are worse than others when it comes to tooth discoloration. The ones that leave their mark the most are coffee, red wine, blueberries and even dark sauces like barbeque. Sodas and other sugary drinks can also cause a yellowed smile because sugars tend to adhere to your teeth and create bonding surfaces for unsightly plaque. If you don’t want to give up your favorite food and drinks, try to at least follow your indulgence with a glass of water to wash away the staining potential.
Bad Habits
Smoking is among the worst when it comes to tooth discoloration factors. Whether it is smoked or chewed, tobacco can leave behind tooth stains as well as bad breath and even gum disease.
It is important to realize that certain medications can cause a discolored smile. Tetracycline and doxycycline are the two most common antibiotics that are known to cause staining. A dentist can determine if your discolored teeth that are caused by medication are reversible by professional whitening.
Some other factors that contribute to tooth discoloration may be out of your control. As you age, the outer white layer of your tooth (enamel) wears thin, which in turn exposes the more yellow inner layer (dentin) of the tooth.

Whether your lifestyle habits reflect a yellowed smile or your discolored teeth are beyond your control, you can feel at ease knowing that there are many advances in cosmetic dentistry that can give you the white, bright smile you deserve at any stage of life!

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