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3 Strange Things That Might Stain Your Teeth

You started limiting your soda consumption and you quit smoking altogether, so why are your teeth still yellow? While it is true that certain lifestyle habits can affect the color of your teeth, sometimes even healthy decisions can affect the color of your smile. Here are three strange things that might be staining your teeth and what you can do about it.

1. Pool Water

If you love to swim, you might easily find yourself spending more than six hours a week in your pool. Unfortunately, six hours of exposure a week is all it takes to create hard, brown deposits on the surfaces of your teeth. 

Swimmer's calculus forms as a result of the teeth being exposed to the antimicrobial compounds typically added to pool water. When added to pool water, these sanitizing compounds create water that has a higher pH than your natural saliva.

As you swim through the water toning your shoulders and mastering your stroke, these chemicals can actually break down the proteins present in your saliva, causing organic deposits to form on the surfaces of your teeth. These tartar deposits can be difficult to keep in check, especially if you plan to continue swimming a lot.

However, when you keep your regular dental appointments, your dentist can polish these stains away, ensuring your smile stays white and beautiful.  

2. A Healthy Diet

You care about your health, which is why you might pack your daily diet with loads of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, while fruits and veggies are excellent for your overall health and even for your smile, they can discolor the surfaces of your teeth.

Many fruits, including blueberries, pomegranates, and grapes, are high in chromogens, which are pigments that tend to cling to the teeth. Oranges, guava, cantaloupe, pears, bananas, and dozens of other fruits are high in tannins, which actually make it easier for pigments to discolor the teeth.

To make matters worse, citrus fruits and acidic veggies can soften and erode dental enamel, allowing more of the darker-colored dentin to shine through.

To prevent dental discoloration due to your healthy diet, focus on diversifying your daily menus and trying new things. For instance, if you love adding rich, red berries to your breakfast cereal, try oatmeal the next day to mix things up while maintaining a healthy diet.

3. Medical Treatment

Most people develop a medical condition or two throughout the course of their lifetime, but sometimes, the treatments can be just as hard on your dental appearance as they are on your wallet.

Certain invasive treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can cause intrinsic staining resulting from damage to the interior spaces of your teeth. On the other hand, even simpler medications for things like allergies can make your teeth yellow, which is why most dental practices ask about your current list of medications and medical history prior to doing any work on your smile.

You should also note that some medicines can permanently discolor teeth, especially if they are given to developing children. Talk with your doctor anytime you or your children are prescribed antibiotics since some drugs like tetracycline and doxycycline can make the teeth brown if they are taken during development.

If you have intrinsic staining due to medical treatments, dentists can help by whitening the teeth, placing veneers, or covering the visible surface of the tooth with a full dental crown.

No matter what caused your dental staining, the team at Lawrence J. Larsen, DDS, can help you to make things right. With a commitment to offering incredibly personalized dentistry, Dr. Larsen and his staff will work hard to make your smile as beautiful, healthy, and comfortable as possible. Call his office today to make an appointment.