Americans are known around the world for their healthy and attractive teeth. Our standards are higher than those in other countries, and many of us work hard to sport sparkling smiles. One method to banish tooth discolorations is to use whiteners. But have you ever thought about how and why some of those stains appear? We want to tell you!
In addition to improving and protecting your oral health, Mark Helms, DDS and Dalton Carruthers Hunt, DMD’s services include a selection of cosmetic treatments to enhance your smile. We can transform less-than-perfect teeth into the smile of your dreams.
These types of discolorations are notorious for tarnishing teeth.
Extrinsic stains tinge enamel, which covers each tooth. It protects the dentin, which is softer than enamel and lies right under it. Enamel is the toughest part of a tooth and comes into contact with everything you put in your mouth. And considering all the color-potent things we stuff in our maws—such as berries, nicotine, red wine, coffee and tomato-based sauces—it’s no surprise that the enamel absorbs some of it. Here’s the good news: Extrinsics don’t move out of the enamel, so they’re easy to remove.
Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, slip through the enamel and into the dentin. Dentin, which is inherently dimmer and has more of a yellow tint than enamel, becomes exposed due to thinning enamel or life’s typical wear and tear. Intrinsics are a bit harder to eradicate.
Age stains are the mark of the passage of time. No one is exempt from the elapse of time. Enamel gets thinner and dentin turns darker. Even the most ardent oral care routines don’t stop these changes.
At-home whitening products can help relieve your teeth of extrinsic, intrinsic or age-related stains, but it’s best to put the job in the professional hands of a dentist. He or she will have a variety of whitening methods on hand that best suit your preferences and needs.
At the office of Mark Helms, DDS and Dalton Carruthers Hunt, DMD, our friendly, highly trained team will help you and your family feel comfortable and relaxed while providing the very best in dental care. For more information about our many services, please call us today. We look forward to hearing from you!
By Mark Helms, DDS and Dalton Carruthers Hunt, DMD
July 25, 2023