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Are you one of the many Americans who are unhappy with their smile? Have you tried teeth whitening, either from your dentist or from home? If you have, you’re far from alone. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most common procedures. While your dentist can help, do you ever wonder what you can do to keep your teeth white on your own? To help you answer this question, we’re happy to discuss a few of the most common reasons your teeth could lose their luster.

There are two main types of stains: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains appear on your enamel, the transparent outer layer of your teeth. Fortunately, these stains can usually be removed by a simple whitening procedure. This type of stain is usually caused by:

  • Foods: Highly pigmented foods like berries or candy can stain your teeth.
  • Drinks: Coffees, colas, and teas may darken your teeth.
  • Tobacco: Smoking or chewing can also stain your smile. This can happen regardless of whether you use cigarettes, a pipe, or chew the tobacco.

The other type of stain is intrinsic. This typically is a stain affecting the inner layer (or layers) of your teeth, which are visible because your enamel is clear. This type of staining can be the result of:

  • Fluorosis: This is a condition caused by an overexposure to fluoride at an early age.
  • Trauma: If you hit your tooth, or experience some kind of trauma, your tooth could die and darken. Similarly, if your tooth is injured, it could bleed and darken your smile.
  • Medications: Many medications can darken your teeth.

But don’t worry: if you have an intrinsic stain, your dentist can still do something to help. For example, your dentist could cover your tooth with a dental crown. This appliance can be shaped to match the appearance and shape of your teeth. Veneers can be used for the same purpose. Of course, depending on your unique circumstances, your dentist can offer you one of these solutions, or recommend another.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact us soon. We are excited to hear from you.