Dr. Ray Alavanja
Dr. Robert Pieters

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Is Mouthwash Bad For You?

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Brushing and flossing are probably part of your regular dental routine. You may also take a swig of mouthwash as the final step to feeling minty fresh. What you may not know is that mouthwash can have damaging effects on your teeth, gums and overall oral health. Mouthwash side effects can range from dry mouth to an increased risk of mouth cancer depending on the active ingredients in the formula.

The Difference Between Cosmetic and Therapeutic Mouthwash

The effects of mouthwash differ depending on which type of mouthwash you use. Cosmetic mouthwash serves as a temporary fix to bad breath. This type of mouthwash acts the same way as popping a breath mint or piece of chewing gum, because it doesn’t have the same active ingredients as therapeutic mouthwash. Therapeutic mouthwash, in contrast, contains ingredients such as chloride, fluoride and peroxide that actively fight plaque, tooth decay, gingivitis and bad breath. While cosmetic mouthwashes are obtained over the counter, some therapeutic mouthwashes must be prescribed by your doctor. These include formulations containing chlorhexidine, a compound used to treat gingivitis.

The Problems With Mouthwash

As a conventional product you may use every day, you’re probably wondering “why is mouthwash bad for you?” In fact, there are numerous ways mouthwash can be harmful to your oral health: 

  • It can cause more cavities by killing good bacteria that support the natural remineralization of your teeth, which is critical to the process of reversing tooth decay.
  • It can dry out your mouth because its high alcohol content disrupts the natural production of saliva.
  • It can irritate canker sores with its high alcohol content and create mouth ulcers by burning a hole in the tissue of your cheek’s protective layer.
  • It can mask deeper oral hygiene issues by temporarily treating bad breath.

While the alcohol in mouthwash causes a burning sensation that convinces you it’s working its magic, it doesn’t reach harmful bacteria residing beneath the gum line. Other harmful ingredients can be found in mouthwash, including:

  • Chlorine dioxide, defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a “hazardous gas”
  • Chlorhexidine, a major allergen
  • Parabens, which disrupt hormone function
  • Formaldehyde, a harmful preservative that can cause respiratory irritation

These ingredients, which are associated with allergic reactions and elevated cancer risk, are most harmful when mouthwash is consumed in larger quantities.

What Can I Use as an Alternative to Mouthwash?

Ditching mouthwash altogether is the best way to avoid its oral health risks. But if you still want to use it, choosing formulations that don’t include harmful ingredients is a good place to start. Try organic or alcohol-free mouthwash as a milder alternative to traditional mouthwash. They may not seem as effective since they aren’t as intense, but these mouthwashes will eliminate more bad bacteria than good bacteria. You also can concoct a DIY mouthwash using aloe vera juice, water, baking soda and peppermint essential oil.

Using mouthwash can make you feel fresh and clean for the moment, but it should never take the place of brushing or other routine oral care. If you are wondering whether you practice correct dental hygiene, contact our office for more information or to schedule a dental cleaning.

5 Tips For Keeping Your Smile Bright This Year

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A bright smile exudes confidence, improves your appearance and makes a great first impression. However, teeth can stain and discolor over time for a number of reasons, including the natural aging process, eating habits and poor lifestyle choices. At Schererville Family Dentistry, we want you to enjoy a bright smile all year long. To help, we’ve compiled five easy tips to help you maintain white, healthy teeth throughout the year.

1. Avoid foods that stain

Certain foods and drinks are more likely to stain your teeth than others. These include red wine, brown soda, soy sauce, berries, curry sauce and black tea. Limiting foods and beverages with dark pigments can go a long way toward protecting your teeth from stains and discoloration over time. Likewise, eating a piece of crunchy fruit or raw vegetables at the end of a meal or as a snack can help remove buildup from the surface of teeth.

2. Put an end to smoking

There are many health benefits that ensue when you quit smoking, including improvements in oral health. Since teeth are naturally porous, the nicotine and tar present in tobacco penetrate them and cause yellowing and discoloration of the enamel. Talk to your doctor for advice on how to stop smoking — your teeth and body will thank you.

3. Exercise good oral hygiene

Twice-daily tooth brushing is an important way to keep teeth healthy and remove any surface stains. To maximize your brushing power, use a dentist-recommended whitening toothpaste to help minimize stains over time. Flossing daily also helps remove staining food particles and plaque from between teeth and along the gum line.

4. Rinse after meals

Brushing after you eat is the best choice, but it isn’t always possible. When you can’t get to your toothbrush, opt for water instead. Swishing it in your mouth is an effective way to dislodge bacteria and rinse away residue from the teeth.

5. Talk to your dentist about professional whitening

If you want to keep your teeth looking and feeling great, visiting your dentist is one of the best ways to do so. Routine dental cleanings help remove harmful tartar and surface stains from your teeth that regular brushing can’t reach.

Schererville Family Dentistry also offers professional whitening, including in-office whitening and take-home trays. In-office whitening treatments are a great option for patients who desire immediate results. We use a safe, professional-grade whitening agent to brighten teeth by several shades in a single office visit. Patients notice significant results by the end of the treatment.

We also offer take-home whitening trays that allow patients to brighten their teeth from the comfort of home. We custom-fit the trays to your teeth and provide a powerful whitening solution to deliver noticeably whiter teeth over the course of several days.

It’s not uncommon for teeth to become dull and discolored over time. The good news is you can reduce stains by adopting healthy habits and committing to good oral hygiene. If you have questions about how to minimize stains or if you would like to learn more about professional whitening, contact our office. We are happy to help!

The Reasons So Many Kids Get Cavities

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For some parents, keeping their children cavity-free is a real struggle. In fact, it may seem like every time they visit the dentist, their child has a new cavity. Can you relate?

As it turns out, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases affecting children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — even more common than asthma and allergies. The good news is that tooth decay in kids is also very preventable with the right approach to at-home care and regular visits to the dentist.

Common Causes of Childhood Decay

Cavities, or dental caries, are damaged areas of a child’s hard tooth surface that develop into tiny openings or holes. They are caused by plaque — the sticky, colorless film of bacteria that attacks the tooth enamel and gums using the sugars from foods, drinks and saliva in your child’s mouth. Because bacteria are naturally present in the mouth, a child can get a cavity as soon as his or her first tooth appears.

Why are children so susceptible to decay? Researchers believe that a combination of factors can increase the risk for cavities in kids, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits: If children are not properly brushing their teeth twice a day, sugars and plaque left on the teeth will continue to attack the enamel and can quickly lead to decay.
  • Unhealthy diet: Sugar is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to childhood tooth decay. Consuming too much juice, candies and other treats over time can wreak havoc on kids’ teeth.
  • Sharing foods: The same bacteria that cause cavities can be transferred within families. That means when parents and siblings share drinks and foods, cavity-causing germs in the mouth can spread from one person to another and increase the risk for decay.
  • Insufficient fluoride: Fluoride is an important mineral that helps protect teeth against decay. A child who doesn’t get enough fluoride in his or her diet is more susceptible to cavities.
  • Delayed visits to the dentist: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents take their child to the dentist when his or her first tooth erupts or no later than his or her first birthday. When parents postpone their child’s appointments to the dentist, emerging dental problems may go unnoticed, leading to more serious, painful oral health issues down the road.

Preventing Cavities

Uncontrollable factors such as genetics and inadequate saliva flow can increase a child’s risk for tooth decay. In many cases, however, the risk for cavities can be significantly reduced with a combination of diligent oral hygiene, regular visits to a dentist, and a well-balanced diet.

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth, even before his or her first tooth appears. Use a clean, damp washcloth to wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding. Once the first tooth appears, you can begin using a small, wet toothbrush.
  • Never put your infant or child to bed with a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice, as this increases the amount of time that teeth are exposed to decay-causing sugars.
  • Establish routine, healthy oral hygiene habits at home. Assist very young children with brushing every morning and night. Older children can brush on their own, but may need supervision to ensure they are cleaning properly. Brush together to model proper technique, and make brushing fun by playing a game or music.
  • Promote healthy, nutritious eating habits at home and on the go. This includes a diet that is rich in raw vegetables, fresh fruits, lean protein and complex carbohydrates. Limit your child’s sugar intake — including soda, juice and candy — especially those that are sticky in nature. Starchy foods, such as pretzels and cereal also promote decay and should be eaten in moderation.
  • Encourage kids to eat and drink in one sitting instead of grazing on food throughout the day. Constant snacking continuously exposes teeth to damaging acids. Prompt brushing after meals and rinsing with water in between meals can help reduce decay.
  • Use fluoride as an effective way to strengthen tooth enamel and reduce decay. Adequate fluoride from your water source and dentist-recommended fluoride toothpaste can even reverse signs of early tooth decay in kids.
  • Scheduling routine dental visits for your child is one of the best ways to combat childhood decay and promote a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Starting appointments at an early age help create a positive attitude about the dentist while educating parents about how to best care for tiny teeth.

Tooth decay can cause chronic pain, lead to tooth loss, and interfere with a child’s eating and sleeping habits. The good news, however, is that childhood cavities are preventable.

It’s not too late to introduce good oral health habits into your family’s daily preventive care routine! In the meantime, for those who live in northwest Indiana, schedule your child’s next appointment with our office. At Schererville Family Dentistry, we are committed to providing your child with quality, personalized pediatric dental care in a fun, nurturing environment.

All About Flossing

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Brushing your teeth twice a day is a critical part of keeping your mouth healthy. What many people do not realize, however, is that brushing alone does not remove all of the food and bacteria that get trapped in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. This is where flossing comes into play.

Proper flossing loosens plaque and tartar in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth, such as the back teeth and along the gum line. If you’re new to flossing or haven’t reached for the floss in quite some time, then you may need to brush up on your flossing skills. With a little practice and some tips from our office, you will find that flossing becomes easier and your mouth becomes healthier over time.

Proper Technique Is Key

If you want to reap the full benefits of flossing, proper technique is essential. Start by breaking off approximately 18 inches of floss. Wrap each end around both middle fingers, and leave a few inches of floss in the center.

Next, use your index fingers to gently guide the floss between your teeth in a zigzag motion, making sure you reach as far along the gum line as possible. Avoid forcing the floss or using harsh sawing motions, as this can injure your gums and cause bleeding. Move on to the next tooth and repeat the process, using a clean section of the floss to avoid transferring bacteria. Don’t forget to floss the back teeth, as they are also susceptible to decay and gum disease.

In some cases, traditional floss may not be the best option for cleaning between your teeth and along your gum line. If you wear braces or have dental restorations, your dentist can recommend alternatives, such as interdental brushes, floss picks and water flossers. If dexterity is a concern, there are specialized products available to make flossing easier, such as floss holders and pre-threaded flossers.

Benefits of Flossing

Flossing regularly has significant benefits for your oral health. These include:

  • Flossing prevents bad breath.
    When debris and bacteria become trapped in your teeth, it can produce an unpleasant odor. By flossing regularly, you will dislodge old food from your teeth to keep your mouth smelling and feeling fresh.
  • Flossing reduces the risk for gum disease.
    Dental floss is one of the best defenses against gum disease, as it removes bacteria-laden plaque before it has the chance to spread deep below the gum line. Without flossing, plaque will continue to attack the gums, causing severe inflammation, redness and pain — and eventually leading to bone deterioration and tooth loss.
  • Flossing lessens the risk for cavities.
    When food and bacteria fester between your teeth for long periods, your enamel becomes susceptible to decay. Floss can remove excess plaque buildup between teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach, reducing your risk for cavities.
  • Flossing keeps your teeth bright.
    Finally, flossing can play an important role in keeping your teeth looking great by minimizing discoloration between the teeth. Flossing removes stain-causing food and bacteria before it has a chance to penetrate the enamel.

Proper flossing combined with twice-daily brushing are the foundation for good oral health, fresh breath and a beautiful smile. If you have questions about flossing, want to learn more about preventive care, or need to schedule your next visit to our office, contact Schererville Family Dentistry today at 219.322.3232.

Dental Care 101

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It’s easy to take our teeth for granted. Maybe you think if you simply brush daily and head to the dentist once or twice a year, your teeth will be fine. However, there are many other ways to improve your oral health.

Here’s a closer look at some of the best dental care tips you can follow that go beyond brushing and routine dentist visits to help improve your overall oral health.

1. Skip the Sugar

You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s important to avoid sugar as much as possible for better dental health. Sugary foods turn to acids in the mouth and can result in tooth decay.

2. Get Plenty of Calcium and Vitamin D

Since your teeth and gums are made of calcium, you need to make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet to keep them strong. Soybeans, cheeses and yogurts are great ways to get more calcium. Vitamin D is also important, since it helps your body absorb calcium.

3. Don’t Forget Vitamin C

When you think about oral health, you may not think of vitamin C, but a vitamin C deficiency can result in dental problems such as bleeding gums and loose teeth. Add some citrus to your diet or other foods high in vitamin C.

4. Add Foods to Your Diet That Promote Saliva Production

Saliva does a great job at battling the bacteria in your mouth, so it’s important to make sure your mouth is producing enough saliva. Eating certain foods — such as cranberries, lemons, cherries and limes — can promote saliva production. Drinking plenty of water can also help your mouth produce saliva.

5. Use Mouthwash After Meals

After eating, rinse your mouth with mouthwash. It not only kills germs, but it keeps the rest of the world from knowing if you had garlic or onions for dinner. If you don’t have mouthwash, rinsing with water can help in a pinch.

Brush twice a day, floss and try using some of these tips to improve your oral health. Don’t forget those routine dental visits for cleanings, checkups and other dental services, too.

Debunking Dental Myths To Protect Your Oral Health

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Research shows a connection between your oral health and your overall health, so it’s essential to stay informed when it comes to caring for your teeth and gums. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dental myths circulating that may be hurting your dental health.

Here’s a look at some of the most common dental myths and the truths you need to know.

Myth No. 1 — You Can Skip the Flossing

The idea that flossing isn’t important is a common myth. Unfortunately, many people skip this extra step after brushing their teeth. The problem? Your toothbrush can’t reach the entire surface of the tooth. You’re missing nearly one-third of the tooth’s surface if you don’t floss. Bacteria building up between teeth can result in tooth decay, tooth pain and gum disease. Flossing is an easy, cheap way to improve your oral health.

Myth No. 2 — Dental Visits Are Painful

You’ll be glad to hear that this is just a myth. Dentists today practice comfort-conscious care, ensuring that you’re kept comfortable during dental procedures. In the past few decades, significant advances in dentistry make it easy to keep visits mostly pain-free. Scared of the dentist? Sedation dentistry is an option that can ease your mind.

Myth No. 3 — My Teeth or Gums Will Hurt When There’s a Problem

Many dental issues don’t cause pain until they become very serious. Then, you’re left with invasive, expensive treatment options. The key to keeping your mouth healthy is to catch any dental problems early — before they cause pain. This means keeping up with those biannual dental visits.

Myth No. 4 — Diet Drinks and Fruit Juices Are OK for Teeth

If you’re skipping sugary sodas, that’s great. However, fruit juices and diet drinks — while they may seem like a healthier option — are bad for teeth, too. Fruit juices have natural sugars and acids that can break down tooth enamel, cause gum disease, and cause tooth decay. Diet drinks may not have sugar, but they have acids that can erode your tooth enamel.

Myth No. 5 — Oral Cancer Isn’t That Dangerous

Oral Cancer will kill roughly 1 person per hour. Thousands of people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Early detection is key to increasing the survival rate for oral cancer. As with all cancers, oral cancer is on the rise, but with early detection more people are being treated successfully.

Myth No. 6 — Oral Cancer Only Occurs in Smokers

While smoking has the ability to increase the risk of oral cancer, new research has found a link between oral cancer and HPV. Just because you’re not a smoker doesn’t mean you can’t end up with oral cancer. Dentists have equipment to detect oral cancers early, which is another reason to stick with those regular dental visits.

Myth No. 7 — I Don’t Need My Silver Fillings Replaced

You probably aren’t aware that a large percentage of those silver fillings are mercury, and mercury can leach out of the filling over time. Mercury has been linked to chronic diseases, neurological issues and autoimmune diseases. Thus, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about replacing any silver fillings you may have.

Now that you know the truth behind some of the most common dental myths, it’s important to take preventive action to keep your oral health in great shape. If you live in Indiana, contact us today to schedule a dental appointment at our Schererville office.

Signs Of Tooth Decay

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tooth-decayWhile it is never fun for your dentist to discover that you have a cavity, it is fairly common to face tooth decay at one time or another. Plaque buildup is the leading cause of tooth decay, which occurs when a thin layer of sticky, colorless bacteria forms on the teeth. Whenever we consume sugary foods and beverages, these bacteria produce harmful acids in our mouth, which then begin to weaken and destroy the tooth’s hard outer surface. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can progress through all layers of a tooth’s structure until a cavity, or hole, finally appears.

Signs of decay

If you suspect that you have tooth decay, have it checked out by your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you identify decay, the less extensive the damage and treatment likely will be. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may have tooth decay:

  • • Unusual tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks

  • • Persistent tooth pain

  • • Dark spots on teeth or discolored teeth

  • • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth

Cavity prevention is easy

The best defense against decay is excellent oral hygiene habits at home and routine visits to your dentist. By treating decay early, you can prevent more serious problems that require treatments such as fillings and even root canal therapy.

Simple ways to prevent tooth decay include the following: 

  • • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • • Floss daily to remove trapped food debris from between teeth and along the gum line.

  • • Rinse your mouth with water after eating.

  • • Visit your dentist twice a year for routine exams and professional cleanings.

  • • Stimulate saliva production between brushing by chewing gum, as saliva helps fight cavities by rinsing harmful materials from the mouth.

  • • Modify your diet to limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks.

If you are suffering from the painful symptoms of tooth decay, call Schererville Family Dentistry today. We can provide the treatment you need to combat cavities, stop pain and save your tooth!

10 Quick Tips On Oral Hygiene

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teethIn order to maintain a healthy mouth and a sparkling smile, you must build lasting oral hygiene habits — most of which start at home. These 10 simple tips can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for many years to come

1. Brush teeth twice a day.

No matter how busy life gets, make sure you prioritize tooth brushing. Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day to prevent decay and gum disease. Diligent brushing will also help keep your breath fresh and your teeth stain-free.

2. Don’t forget to floss daily.

Like brushing, flossing is very important to oral health as it cleans problem areas where your toothbrush can’t reach. At a minimum, floss once a day to remove food particles and plaque buildup that collect between teeth and along the gum line.

3. Focus on proper brushing techniques.

Effective tooth brushing requires a full two minutes each time. Holding your brush at a 45-degree angle, use a gentle back and forth motion to clean the tooth. Repeat for each tooth until you have cleaned all surfaces of your teeth.

4. Quit using tobacco as soon as possible.

Smoking and other tobacco products aren’t just bad for your general health, they can also wreak havoc on your mouth. Stop using tobacco products now to prevent many serious health problems including oral cancer and gum disease.

5. Remember to replace your toothbrush.

Toothbrush bristles wear over time, so make sure you replace your brush at least every three months. You should also toss your brush and purchase a new one following an illness to prevent recontamination.

6. Eat a balanced diet.

The foods you consume on a daily basis impact more than your body — they impact your mouth as well.  Green leafy vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and raw fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals to keep your mouth healthy and free from disease.

7. Say no to sugary treats.

You should make an effort to reduce how much sugar you eat. Sugar-filled foods and drinks play a significant role in the development of tooth decay. Eliminating them from your diet is a great way to avoid cavities and other dental problems.

8. Use the right toothbrush.

As a general rule, the best toothbrush is one that fits comfortably in your mouth and easily reaches all of your teeth. Most professionals recommend a soft-bristled brush with a small head for effective brushing. Electric toothbrushes are also excellent alternatives to manual brushes, especially for a person with limited dexterity.

9. Rinse your mouth.

Used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, mouthwash can be an effective way to help strengthen enamel, prevent the development of plaque, and fight gum disease. If you can’t get to your mouthwash, swishing with water after eating can also help dislodge food particles until you can brush.

10. Visit your dentist regularly.

Last but certainly not least, visit your dentist for twice-yearly cleanings and exams to help detect and prevent future problems. Always report dental problems to your dentist as soon as possible to avoid more serious issues and treatments.

Allow us to help you take the next step toward better oral hygiene. For professional cleanings, exams and tips on keeping your mouth healthy, visit us at our Schereville office.  Call (219) 322-3232 today!

Why You Should Get Treatment For Your Cavity

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Most of us have faced a cavity or two at some point. These tiny holes on a tooth’s surface form when the tooth begins to decay. The hole can grow larger and deeper over time, a process of breaking down the tooth’s enamel. While cavities may seem inconvenient, it is critical that you have them filled by a dentist as soon as possible. Treating cavities early helps prevent long-term damage to the structure of teeth and is critical for maintaining good oral health.

Untreated cavities and health risks.

You may be tempted to delay treatment for a cavity, especially if you aren’t experiencing pain. Unfortunately, improved brushing won’t repair decay — and as your cavity gets larger, so does the risk for other health problems.

Increased sensitivity, pain and swelling are all symptoms of deep, untreated cavities. As the cavity grows deeper, the nerve of the tooth can get infected, and a root canal may be required to save the tooth. If damage to the nerve is too extensive, extracting the tooth may be your only option.

Cavity treatment is easy.

If you suspect that you have a cavity, the best thing you can do is get it filled by your dentist immediately. Treating a cavity as soon as it begins to form is a quick and virtually painless procedure thanks to modern dentistry, but can be far more complex if you ignore it.

Filling a cavity involves the following easy steps under the gentle care of your dentist.

  • The area surrounding the decayed tooth is numbed by the dentist using a numbing agent.
  • The dentist will gently remove the infected portion of the tooth.
  • Once the decay is removed, the dentist will fill the tooth with a special filling material, such as composite-resin or porcelain.
  • In just a few hours, the effects of the numbing agent will disappear, leaving you with a healthy, natural-looking tooth and restored oral health.

Prevention is key.

Ultimately, your best option is to prevent cavities before they develop. Since most cavities are caused by sugars and bacteria in the mouth, you can play a vital role in protecting your teeth and gums from harmful decay by taking better care of your teeth at home. Brush and floss regularly with fluoride toothpaste, and limit sugary foods and drinks that create plaque in the mouth. These simple at-home improvements combined with regular visits to your dentist will go a long way to prevent cavities from forming in the first place.

Don’t Wait — Contact Schererville Family Dentistry Today! 

Bottom line: The longer you put off treatment for your cavity, the more painful and complex it becomes. Contact Schererville Family Dentistry at the first sign of decay for quick and easy cavity fillings. Even better, avoid cavities altogether by practicing excellent oral hygiene and visiting our office for routine cleanings and exams.

Tips For Preventing And Reducing Tooth Stains

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When you look in the mirror and smile, don’t be alarmed if a set of stained, discolored teeth smiles back at you. Unfortunately, many of us will experience some degree of tooth discoloration over the years.

The good news is that discolored teeth are common and typically easy to correct. Your dentist can help you find the right whitening treatment to brighten your teeth by several shades. In the meantime, follow these simple steps for preventing and reducing unwanted tooth stains. 

What is causing your tooth stains?

Most types of stains are extrinsic, meaning they affect only the outer tooth enamel. Extrinsic stains can be removed fairly easily. Other types of discoloration may be intrinsic, which affects the inner structure of the tooth, also known as the dentin. Teeth with intrinsic discoloring are not as easily corrected.

There are many factors that can contribute to tooth stains, including:

  • Foods and drinks: Coffee, tea, soda, red wine, soy sauce, tomato sauce and berries are common offenders of tooth stains.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Stain-causing substances left on teeth due to inadequate brushing and flossing can eventually lead to tooth discoloration.
  • Natural aging process: Teeth may naturally yellow or change colors with age as enamel thins and wears.
  • Tobacco use: Smoking and chewing tobacco can make teeth appear yellowed and dingy over time.
  • Disease and medications: Certain diseases and medications can lead to discoloration of your teeth.
  • Trauma: Discoloration of a tooth may appear following an injury.

Can I prevent my teeth from staining?

Many surface stains on the teeth can be easily prevented with simple lifestyle changes. Brush and floss after every meal to reduce the build-up of stain-producing foods on the teeth. If you’re a coffee lover, wine enthusiast or smoker, consider cutting back or stopping altogether to reduce stains. Most importantly, visit your dentist regularly for routine cleanings to remove tough stains from the surface of teeth.

What treatments are available to whiten my teeth?

When changes to your lifestyle and at-home remedies aren’t enough, your dentist can provide advanced whitening treatments for dramatic, long-lasting whitening results. One option, at-home whitening trays, allows patients to conveniently whiten their teeth from the comfort of their home. After being custom fitted for trays by the dentist, patients will wear the trays with a bleaching gel each day as prescribed. Over the course of several days, patients will notice whiter teeth and a brighter smile as stains disappear.

If you desire nearly instant results, you may benefit from professional, in-office teeth whitening. This safe and highly effective treatment involves applying a special whitening agent to the teeth. The whitening solution is activated by a light to accelerate the whitening process. In-office whitening is ideal for busy patients looking for immediate results and dramatically whiter teeth in as little as one visit to our office.

Professional cleanings help keep teeth white!

At Schererville Family Dentistry, we can help you maintain white, stain-free teeth through professional cleanings. Combined with at-home care, a regularly scheduled cleaning is one of the best ways to remove stain-causing substances from your teeth.

Cleanings are quick and comfortable at one of our two office locations — not to mention a critical part of maintaining good dental health for a lifetime. Call (219) 322-3232 today!

Schererville Family Dentistry

1050 Caroline Ave
Schererville, IN 46375
Call or Text Us: 219.322.3232