What stains your teeth? Leaning what causes tooth staining is the first step toward a nice white smile. In this article learn which food, beverages and substances cause tooth discoloration.
Smoking is by far the biggest cause of dark brown or black tooth stain. Stain from smoking is visible between the teeth and near the gum line.
Beverages are a close second to tobacco in their staining potential. Dark red or brown drinks are the worst. Acid beverages are more staining than non acidic.
Red wine is probably the most staining beverage followed by coffee and tea.
You can still enjoy these drinks, just keep your teeth extra clean. Brushing and flossing before you consume them is more helpful than brushing after. Brushing is not recommended soon after an acidic beverage. But swishing with water is a great idea.
Red sauces and very dark foods such as blueberries can stain your teeth. But any food in moderation should not be a problem if you are a decent brusher and flosser.
The stains mentioned above are all extrinsic. There are also intrinsic tooth stains. Intrinsic stains occur from the inside out and are much more difficult to get rid of.
Intrinsic stains are caused by medicines, too much fluoride or an illness or fever when the tooth was forming.
Tetracycline intrinsic stain causes a blue-gray somewhat translucent appearance.
Fluorosis is another type of intrinsic stain. It causes an uneven color that is either white and blotchy or yellow-brown. Fluorosis occurs when too much fluoride is present in drinking water. Optimally fluoridated water does not cause fluorosis neither do fluoride products when used as directed.