Connecticut State Dental Association Provides Tips to Avoid Staining of Teeth
This holiday season the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) would like to help residents keep their smile bright and healthy. Proper oral hygiene is important to maintaining overall physical health. Understanding what causes teeth discoloration can help prevent tooth decay and other dental diseases.
“The CSDA is committed to helping all Connecticut residents maintain the highest level of oral health possible,” stated Dr. William Nash, President of the Connecticut State Dental Association. “Being aware of what causes tooth discoloration can help keep smiles as white as the snow this holiday season.
Discoloration in teeth is primarily caused by food and drinks. Beverages such as coffee, tea and red wine cause stains due to a high level of color pigments called chromogens. Chromogens stain the outer layer of teeth called the enamel. Certain behaviors, such as smoking, can also lead to poor oral health. Tobacco products stain teeth if used over an extended period of time due to the tar and nicotine they contain. Also, certain medications, such as antihistamines and antipsychotics, can also cause teeth to darken.
There are a few strategies to reduce discoloration and whiten teeth. The most common teeth whitening practices include using whitening toothpaste, having an in-office whitening procedure, or using an at home bleaching kit. Since whitening toothpaste contains chemicals and polishing agents are designed to remove stains from tooth enamel, it is important to look for the ADA seal for safe options. In-office bleaching is also known as chairside bleaching and usually requires only one visit to your dentist. At home bleaching is done with either whitening strips that stick to your teeth or with a gel filled mouth piece made for you by your dentist that conforms to your teeth. Typically the concentration of bleach used in at home bleaching products is less than the in-office bleaching techniques. The in-office bleaching yields the greatest amount of whitening, followed by the dentist-made, at-home systems, strips, and finally the whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes
The Connecticut State Dental Association would like to provide residents with the following tips to help maintain proper oral hygiene and avoid further discoloration throughout the holiday season.
- Be aware of which foods and drinks will stain teeth and brush teeth immediately after eating or drinking them.
- Switch from a traditional toothbrush to an electric toothbrush.
- Floss daily to support healthy teeth and gums.
- Use whitening toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Cut back or stop smoking entirely.
For more information on how to get and keep a brighter, healthier smile visit the ADA Mouth Healthy website.
About Connecticut State Dental Association
The Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) has approximately 2,670 members including dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. As the trusted leader and voice for oral health care in Connecticut, the CSDA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1864. For more information about the CSDA, visit the Association's Web site at www.csda.com.