Are your pearly whites not as pearly or as white as you wish? Teeth stains are the most common blemish to affect patients’ smiles, and can prove especially frustrating for patients who take pride in practicing good oral hygiene. Luckily, stained teeth don’t always indicate poor oral health, and can occur from nothing more than the food and beverages you consume. Today, your Ankeny dentist, Dr. Ryan Hussong, explains how meals stain teeth, and offer a few tips to minimize the impact of food-induced teeth stains.
The Color Molecule
Like most things related to dental health, teeth stains occur on a microscopic level and are the direct result of small molecules called chromogens, which dictate the color of food and beverages. The color molecules have an annoying tendency to cling to tooth enamel, the outer layer of teeth, and the darker a meal is, the more likely teeth will stain while consuming it.
The Bioactivity in Your Mouth
At any given moment, a healthy mouth hosts approximately 600 different kinds of bacteria. As living organisms, these microbes consume and metabolize nutrients. When some of them consume sugar, they produce acid as a result, which weakens tooth enamel and makes it easier for chromogens to achieve a strong grip. The more sugar or organic acid a meal contains, the easier teeth can stain.
Are Teeth Stains Preventable?
You can’t stop eating to prevent tooth stains, and eliminating oral bacteria to stop acid production is not an option. However, you can take certain steps to reduce the risk of teeth stains and preserve your smile’s confidence. Brushing and flossing teeth at least twice a day helps control oral bacteria, thereby reducing the risk of stains as well as destructive dental issues (like tooth decay and gum disease). If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, then try swishing a sip of water around your mouth for a few moments. Water can rinse away food debris, chromogens, and bacteria, and can neutralize organic acid to keep enamel strong and healthy.
Protect Your Smile with Help from Your Ankeny Dentist
To learn more about protecting your smile’s health and appearance, or to learn about our professional teeth-whitening procedures that can erase existing teeth stains, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Hussong by calling your Ankeny dentist’s office at (515) 984-6001. Serving the 50007 area, Cornerstone Dental proudly welcomes families from Des Moines, Polk City, Ames, Ankeny, Alleman, Bondurant, Grimes, Johnston, and the surrounding communities.