There are many factors that affect the colour of our teeth, some of which are well known, others are much more obscure. Whereas regular brushing can go a long way to helping keep teeth white, there are some issues where brushing alone won’t quite cut it.
Ageing causes the enamel to become thinner, giving teeth a yellowish tinge. This is something that will happen to all of us, some of us are happy to live with the discolouration brought on by age, while others feel it is not a compromise they are prepared to make. Strong coloured food and drink (such as coffee, tea and red wine) can also stain teeth, as will tobacco for smokers. But what else affects how bright our smiles are?
Exposure to fluoride
Most people have heard that fluoride is good for teeth, but exposure to fluoride when teeth are young and still developing can be harmful to the soft enamel. During early childhood, exposure to fluoride should
be carefully limited. Toothpaste containing fluoride is recommended only for children of three years and older, and for those aged between three and six years old, this must be no more than the size of a garden pea.
Even in adults, excessive exposure to fluoride can cause teeth to get darker. Luckily, professional whitening treatments can often reverse the effects of too much fluoride in later life.
Damage to the tooth or its root
If you’ve suffered an injury to your mouth then this can cause bleeding inside the tooth, leading to discolouration. A fall, a sporting injury or any other accident that has exerted pressure on your teeth can lead to permanent discolouration of the affected teeth.
At CK Dental Practice in Bristol, we can help if you’re suffering from a darkened tooth. Professional cleaning can help remove some stubborn surface stains, whereas for more serious discolouration there are some more technical options available. Individual teeth can be capped with a ‘bonding component’ which is attached to the tooth and will cover its darker appearance. This component will be matched to the colour of your non-damaged teeth. Alternatively, porcelain veneers can be fitted over the teeth. This is becoming more and more popular over time, with many high profile figures improving the appearance of their smile with veneers.
If you are concerned about the colour of your teeth and wish to discuss options, get in touch with the team here at CK Dental practice in Bristol, who will be able to offer advice based specifically on what is causing the discolouration you’re unhappy with.