If you have dental restorations like crowns, bridges, or fillings, you may notice that they become discolored over time. Modern dental materials typically include porcelain or zirconia ceramic and composite resin.
Dentists use these materials to achieve the closest color match possible to your natural teeth. However, these materials also have some porosity and can become worn over time, leading to discoloration.
Unfortunately, you cannot professionally whiten dental restorations, so you must have them repaired or replaced when discoloration occurs. Learn how to prevent staining on your dental restorations to achieve a bright smile you can share with confidence.
Avoid Highly Pigmented or Acidic Foods and Drinks
Beverages like red wine and coffee have a reputation for staining natural teeth. Their staining properties also apply to dental restorations. A 2017 study found that people who drink soft drinks before wine or coffee experienced worse discoloration of their restoration devices.
Although you want to avoid wine, coffee, and soda with restorations, you can still eat berries and other highly pigmented fruits and vegetables. But acidic foods and drinks, like citrus, tomatoes, and vinegar, can also lead to weakened tooth enamel and etching of your restorations.
These foods can cause discoloration if allowed to sit on your teeth and restorations. To prevent discoloration or stains, brush as soon as possible after eating or drinking.
Rinse After Eating and Drinking
No matter what you eat, rinse your mouth afterward. The same sugars and acids that harm your natural teeth affect your restorations. Some foods and medications affect restorations more than others, but rinsing every time you eat means tooth-staining food doesn’t sit on your teeth for a long time.
You can also use fluoride rinse for an extra boost to clean your tooth enamel and wash off your restorations.
Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste and Overbrushing
Abrasive kinds of toothpaste and overbrushing cause excessive wear on your restorations, dulling their natural shine. Abrasive toothpaste includes those labeled as whitening or tartar control. You should also avoid mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride, as they can cause stains.
Quit Smoking and Using Tobacco Products
When you smoke, nicotine and tar seep into the pores of teeth, dental crowns, and other restorations, causing stains. Composite fillings, crowns, and dental bonding are particularly susceptible.
When nicotine meets oxygen, it turns yellow, which means vaping with a nicotine product doesn’t protect you from stains.
When you chew tobacco, saliva mixes with the tobacco, creating a dark brown liquid that causes stains. The nature of chewing means keeping some of that liquid in your mouth for a prolonged period. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products to keep your restorations stain-free.
Maintain a Regular Oral Health Routine
The American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day and floss once per day. You should also see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning. Excellent dental hygiene practices help prevent discoloration of teeth and restorative materials, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Keep Your Smile Bright with Steger Smiles
Following these steps and regularly seeing a dental professional will prevent stains on your dental work. Steger Smiles’ friendly, knowledgeable staff can help you maintain your bright smile with comprehensive dental care services.