Let’s say you’ve decided to reassess your smile. Namely, you want to see how your teeth are doing a few months after your last dental visit. However, you aren’t sure how to go about it. What should you do? Well, one good approach would be to examine your tooth color. Depending on what you see, your pearly whites could be dealing with different issues. As for how to interpret these colors, your Stephens City dentist can help you out. Read on to learn what the shade of your smile says about you.
Unless you just had dental work, your chompers are at their whitest when you’re an infant. After all, baby teeth are more calcified than permanent ones. Plus, their dentin is very light and hardly visible through the enamel.
At their best, adult teeth tend to look more light gray. Since their dentin darkens with age, the layer is easier to see.
If your teeth have turned yellow, they likely got stained from foods and drinks. For example, staining agents are present in coffee, tea, red wine, berries, tomatoes, and more.
At the same time, this color could stem from plaque buildup. The latter typically occurs due to poor oral hygiene.
Left untreated, yellow tooth stains can turn brown. This process normally stems from bad habits like smoking and chewing tobacco. Still, it can also occur due to age, injury, medication, or even genetics.
Brown spots can signify tooth decay, so contact your dentist at once if you notice any.
How to Get a Brighter Smile
Even if your teeth look discolored, you have the power to whiten them back up. Consider the following tips:
- Get Professional Dentistry: A cosmetic dentist could treat tooth stains with services like teeth whitening, cosmetic bonding, and porcelain veneers.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Some discoloration can be reversed by brushing your teeth twice daily, flossing once daily, and rinsing with mouthwash. That way, you’ll rid your teeth of yellowish plaque and bacteria.
- Avoid Bad Oral Habits: Don’t smoke, chew tobacco, or use your teeth to open packages.
- Eat Mouth Healthy Foods & Drinks: Lay off sugary foods and drinks, as well as excess alcohol. Instead, eat items rich in vitamins and minerals that boost oral health.
- Have Frequent Checkups: Remember to visit your dentist every six months (at least) for checkups and cleanings.
Given the passage of time, some changes in tooth color are unavoidable. That said, follow the tips above so you can keep your smile looking as white as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Thomas A. Gromling is a dentist based in Stephens City, VA, having earned his DDS from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also a member of the American Dental Association and the Virginia Dental Association, not to mention a fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry. His specialties include preventive, cosmetic, and restorative treatments and emergency care. Dr. Gromling currently practices at his self-titled clinic and can be reached at his website or by phone at (540)-869-4377.