Can I Help Prevent Teeth Stains?

In our last blog, we took a look at our take-home and in-office teeth whitening systems. Today, we would like to focus a little more on the causes of discoloration, namely, what you can do to prevent the onset of teeth stains. With a focus on your oral hygiene, you can improve oral health while also keeping your teeth brighter for longer periods.

Causes of Extrinsic Teeth Stains

These are stains that form on the surface of the teeth. They are the most common form and easily removed with in-office and at-home teeth whitening. Foods and drinks high in sugar and other starches can promote plaque buildup, which make surface discoloration more likely. Smoking and drinks with dark pigments (such as coffee, tea, red wine, soda, and fruit juice) can also cause discoloration to appear.

Causes of Intrinsic Teeth Stains

These form below the tooth enamel. A little more difficult to remove, we often mask them with bonding, veneers, or a combination of the two. Intrinsic stains form as a result of injury to the teeth, fluorosis, or exposure to the tetracycline at a young age.

Preventing Discoloration

There is little you can do prevent intrinsic stains, but extrinsic stains can be easily prevented, or at least the severity of them can be lessened significantly in between cosmetic treatments. First, try cutting back on sugary foods/drinks, as well as drinks with dark pigments. You should also be brushing your teeth twice a day, once when you wake up and again before going to bed. You also need to floss thoroughly every night before bed. Finally, make sure you’re seeing the dentist every six months for a cleaning, which removes plaque and brightens smiles.


Dr. Brent Engelberg and our highly-skilled team proudly serve patients and their families from Arlington Heights, IL, and all surrounding communities, including: Northbrook, Deerfield, Highland Park, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Libertyville, Skokie, Evanston, Palatine, Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and the Northern and Northwest Chicago Suburbs. To learn more, schedule a consultation online, or call our office today at 847-259-8030.


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