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Why do teeth discolour with age? Bristol dentistThere are many things that happen to the human body as we age, and one of these is discolouration of the teeth. Your once shiny, pearly white smile might start to take on a yellowish tinge as the years creep up on you, but what exactly causes this?

Despite the steps forward humans have taken in an evolutionary sense, we still only get two sets of teeth in our lifetime, the second of which last for the vast majority of our lives. As with any part of the body, teeth are subjected to wear and tear, and will naturally get weaker over time.

One sign that teeth are ageing is discolouration, which is caused by the tooth enamel thinning. As the enamel coating gets thinner it begins to take on a more transparent state, which means that the components inside the tooth start to become visible. Inside teeth is a material called “dentine” which is yellow in colour. It is this which starts to become visible, giving the appearance of discoloured teeth.

Can anything be done to combat the appearance of ageing teeth?

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol we understand that people like to retain a youthful appearance for as long as possible. If maintaining a bright, white smile is important to you then there are options that can help address the natural aging process of your teeth.

As well as teeth whitening in Bristol, we also offer porcelain veneers, which can be fitted to natural teeth to mask the effects of tooth discolouration and are growing steadily in popularity.

A more natural alternative

There are also steps that can be taken to help keep teeth white that does not involve dentistry. Avoiding foods that stain teeth is a sensible starting point. Drinks such as red wine, coffee, tea and foods that contain a lot of artificial strong colouring should be avoided if you’re worried that your teeth are darkening, as these can exacerbate the problem.

Tobacco is also a common culprit for teeth discolouration. Nicotine and the tar found within cigarettes stains heavily, but the good news is the effects are not permanent. If you’re prepared to ditch the habit and to get your teeth ‘deep cleaned’ then it is possible to remove a lot of the discoloration caused by smoking.

What questions should I be asking at my Bristol dentist consultation?Most of us have clocked up many trips to the dentist over our lifetime, but how can we be sure that we are making the most of each appointment? Generally, appointments are led by the dentist so you have no need to ask specific questions unless you’re particularly interested or worried about a particular area.

Here at CK Dental practice in Bristol we want you to feel that you’re getting the best care and service from your dentist, so if you’re curious about your oral health and interested to know what your dentist will be looking for, here are some questions you could consider asking.

How often should I be coming for a check up?

This will naturally differ from patient to patient, and will be dependent on the condition of your mouth, gums and teeth. If your oral health is normal then check ups are usually recommended once or twice per year. Typically at the end of a consultation your dentist will specify when they wish to see you again and you can book in for your next appointment before you leave.

How can I look after my teeth most effectively between appointments?

Your dentist will be able to give you lots of helpful hints and tips for caring for your mouth, teeth and gums. You can expect that this will include brushing at least twice a day (morning and night) and also flossing regularly. Mouth wash can sometimes be recommended as this can help keep your mouth and breath fresh, and helps keeps your teeth white.

What food and drink should I avoid to keep my teeth healthy?

Eating and drinking things that are high in sugar should be avoided (especially in young children whose teeth are still developing). Carbonated (fizzy) drinks can also wear down the delicate enamel on the surface of teeth. As with most food and drink guidelines, most things are fine in moderation, but the problems creep in when you overdo a particular food or drink that has a known effect on a particular area of the body.