A pearly white smile is a sign of good oral hygiene, but you might notice black teeth stains despite your best efforts. While it's true that poor cleaning habits can lead to stains, it might not be your oral care routine at fault. Even someone who brushes and flosses regularly can see black stains, depending on their lifestyle and diet. Understanding what causes black stains can help you stop them at the source and bring back your shiny white smile.
Black Stain Causes
If you have black stains on your teeth, you'll need to consider the possible causes before you determine how to get rid of them. Using tobacco, drinking coffee or tea and consuming alcohol can lead to black teeth stains. Poor dental hygiene and tartar buildup can also result in dark stains on the teeth. The Cleveland Clinic notes that certain medications or diseases may affect your tooth color, and that teeth may take on a darker appearance with age.
If your habits could be contributing to your stains (think tobacco use), you can likely address the problem on your own. If your teeth are discolored due to an infection, a medication or your age, you'll need to talk to your dentist about your options. It's always a good idea to see your dentist if you are concerned about the appearance of your teeth.
Identify the Issue
Changing your behavior can eliminate black teeth stains related to diet or lifestyle choices. If you smoke or chew tobacco, try quitting and see how the change affects your teeth. If you drink coffee daily, try using a straw to bypass your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after every cup.
Poor oral hygiene can also play a part in stained teeth, so examine your current routine. Make sure to brush at least twice a day, floss once a day and see your dentist for regular checkups. Your dentist can identify areas of decay and help you keep your teeth clean and bright.
Restore Your Smile
Once you've addressed the cause of your black stains, you can work toward cleaning your teeth and restoring your smile. The good news is that if the stains are on the surface of your teeth, they can likely be cleaned. Start by scheduling an appointment with your dentist for a professional cleaning. Your dental hygienist can use an ultrasonic device and dental hygiene instruments to scrape away black stains and tartar on your teeth.
You can also consider using a whitening toothpaste with ingredients like hydrogen peroxide to brighten your smile. Just remember that continuing the behavior that caused your black stains will likely result in future stains, so always address the source of the problem first.
Black stains can make you feel self-conscious about your teeth, but discoloration doesn't have to last forever. Leaving your bad habits behind, implementing a strong oral hygiene routine and heeding your dentist's advice will help you eliminate stains and brighten your smile.