How to Prevent Dull-Colored Teeth

Are you wondering why your teeth appear so dull? This is the question heard by dentists everywhere. Dental patients are always looking for ways to brighten their smile, but treating a problem is much more costly, and more difficult, than preventing the problem in the first place. Keeping your teeth bright and healthy for a lifetime starts with daily, diligent preventative measures.

What causes dull teeth?

Dull teeth are defined as teeth that are discolored to the point of losing their natural sheen. The enamel, the outermost layer of teeth, is naturally white. However, this layer can be easily stained or compromised by both external and internal factors.

Poor dental hygiene

Brushing twice and flossing once daily is not only good for maintaining lifelong oral health. Preserving the naturally-white color and bright shine of your teeth depends on a diligent routine of excellent oral health care.

You may notice that even skipping one session of brushing teeth leaves your mouth feeling grimy — this is because brushing removes a good amount of bacteria from the mouth. When this bacteria is left to advance, it can form a thin film on teeth called plaque. This plaque then eats through the enamel. Over time, thinning enamel reveals the layer of yellow dentin tissue underneath it.

Diet

Certain food and drink such as coffee, soda, dark berries and red wine can leave stains on the teeth. Although most surface stains can be removed by whitening, preventing these stains is the best way to ensure teeth stay bright.

If coffee and soda are unavoidable, drink them through a straw and try not to sip on these beverages for long periods of time throughout the day. A diet rich in calcium and phosphorus is essential in fortifying tooth and jaw structure. Keep your teeth healthy and bright by eating foods like leafy vegetables and fruit.

Tobacco use

Tobacco is not only harmful to your general overall health but smoking cigarettes and the use of other tobacco products can permanently stain teeth. Unsightly dark stains can appear on the surface of and between teeth. Tobacco use is also known to cause tooth sensitivity and periodontal disease.

Trauma

Some experience damage due to physical trauma to a tooth or several teeth. Sports injuries and falls can leave you with broken or even missing teeth. This type of damage can disturb the nerve and cause the tooth to slowly die. A tooth that is dying can become discolored, and usually turns a grayish color.

Medications

Antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline can discolor teeth, especially in children under the age of eight. Even antihistamines (like Benadryl) or high blood pressure medications can cause temporary tooth discoloration.

Genetics

As unfair as it may seem, some are genetically predisposed to have naturally brighter enamel than others. Hereditarily thick enamel will cause the smile to appear whiter, as there is a heartier layer where the dentin is not allowed to show through. Those with thin enamel may have yellowed teeth.

Advancing age

As we get older, enamel thins and the dentin underneath begins to show. This is a natural process that happens to everyone. However, enamel health can be prolonged and you can have a whiter smile for longer by brushing every day with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride remineralizes the enamel and keeps your teeth bright for longer.

The bottom line

All these preventative measures and more can help you to have a white smile for a lifetime. Talk to your dentist today to come up with a plan of action to keep your smile bright.

Request an appointment here: https://durangodentistry.com or call Durango Dentistry at (970) 422-3263 for an appointment in our Durango office.

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