How staining works

What causes it? How to get rid of it?

Intan Nobury


Aug 27, 16

2 min read

There are numerous internal and external factors that can contribute to the staining of our enamel. Some of which are beyond our control – where others are created by our habits and indulgence.

Intrinsic (Internal)

Certain facets of our upbringing can add to the internal staining of our teeth. This includes the absorption of fluoride at a young age, certain medications taken through your childhood as well as trauma to your permanent tooth.

Intrinsic loss is when the inner structure of the tooth has been stained.

Extrinsic (External)

There’s no doubt that we all love to indulge in the pleasures of food and beverages but certain consumption can have an impact on the brightness of our smile.

This includes:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red Wine (cue sad violin)
  • Coloured drinks/ soft drinks
  • Food with immense colouring
  • Acidic fruits

Other external causes include poor dental hygiene (producing cavities and tooth decay), smoking, diseases that require chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Extrinsic loss is when the surface of the enamel has been damaged.

How can I prevent tooth discoloration?

The best preventative action is by improving your overall dental hygiene through regular and consistent brushing, flossing and rinsing. Upholding your six-monthly dental clean and check-ups is essential to conserving your pearly whites (and making sure they stay white!).

What might help?

  • Avoiding foods and beverages that stain teeth
  • Drinking through a straw
  • Investing in composite or porcelain veneers
  • Undertaking whitening treatments (either in-chair or with a personalized take home whitening kit)

Written By

Intan Nobury

An appreciator of art, novels and high intensity sports. With a passion for work and a dangerous addiction to tea.

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