Why (my) teeth stain

I went to the dentist recently and asked him about my teeth stains. In particular, there were two teeth that I was most concerned about. These weren’t your overall yellow tinging teeth stains mind you, but were more of a concentrated stain that was more prominently visible on the tooth.

Don’t ask me why but I’ve always been concerned about the health of my teeth. Whether it’s straight enough, white enough, or doggonit, good enough for me, I’ve been trying my best to keep it in good health.

So after a moment of pondering, my dentist asked me if I grind my teeth. I told him that I was told in the past that I do grind my teeth. It was as if he had a Eureka moment in that his “aha!” was a relief for him to be able to answer my question.

As I grind my teeth, I put a lot of pressure on my teeth, forcing my teeth to move inwards and outwards. Doing an excessive amount of this will eventually break down my enamel, exposing the inner layers of my teeth. As my teeth surface begins to roughen, stains more easily trap in these areas. These stains, even the dentist cannot always remove.

It is because of this that my teeth stain easily. That, and the fact that some people’s teeth are more prone to staining than others. I guess that makes me the unlucky one. I’ve tried those teeth whiteners as well to no avail. Those Crest Whitestrips and liquid-based whiteners don’t do anything for me except drain my wallet.

He suggested (again) that I get a custom fit mouth guard to keep me from doing further damage to my teeth. At roughly $360 a guard, I tried to hold back on this luxury purchase. I suppose it’s not so much a luxury any more than it is a necessity for me now.

Sooner or later, I’ll have to treat these damaged teeth and those expenses will likely be higher than a mere $360 mouth guard. I’ve seen those $30 mouth guards that they sell at pharmacies, and inquired about them before as well. I was told that some of them may do even more damage to your teeth since extraneous friction from these guards will wreak havoc on your gums and teeth.

To keep my teeth happy, I’ve also made it a point to cut back on my coffee and tea drinking. My one cup of coffee a day, and a couple cups of tea now and then will be no longer. I’ll relegate myself to a social coffee drinker, and keep my tea drinking to just after dinner—for some reason I can’t seem to not drink Japanese or Chinese tea after dinner.

So there you have it. Teeth stain. And that’s a fact. Now you know one of the reasons why some teeth stain more than others. Are you going to do anything about it?

Taku is a freelance travel, landscape, and festival photographer, and print designer based in Toronto. He has an insatiable appetite, a rather fast metabolism (which incidentally gives him a lot of smack), and is constantly found editing photos on his iPhone.

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