Care and Advice


Your teeth can become discoloured by stains on the surface or by changes in the tooth structure.

We usually divide stains into three main categories:

  1. Extrinsic – This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained superficially. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.
  2. Intrinsic – This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentine) darkens. This can be seen through the translucent enamel and makes your teeth look discoloured. This can be caused for example by excessive exposure to fluoride during early childhood or the use of tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy and even in young children.
  3. Age-related – Over time the dentine in teeth naturally starts to yellow. The translucent enamel that covers the dentine gets thinner with age, allowing the dentin to show through even more so. Chips or other injuries to a tooth can also lead to discolouration, especially when the pulp (your tooth nerve and blood supply) has been damaged.

In rare cases, conditions do exist which drastically change the appearance of your teeth from colour to form.

What can cause external stains?

Teeth can pick up stains from our day to day eating, drinking and lifestyle.
Some examples can be seen below:

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Smoking
  • Corsodyl Mouthwash
  • Soya Sauce
  • Balsamic Vinegar

Top Tips:

  • Straws – Drink any strong coloured drink like through a straw, so there is minimal contact of the teeth so less staining.
  • Stop smoking – When you smoke, the chemical leach onto your teeth and can significantly strain your teeth
  • Wash strong colours out with water – Drinking, rinsing or just swirling water can keep stains away. Or if you prefer, you can use mouthwash.
  • See your hygienist regularly – A professional clean will not only benefit your gums and health of your teeth but can remove stains giving you a bright white smile again.
  • Teeth whitening – When undergoing bleaching, we recommend you stick to a “White Diet” – this is the avoidance of all foods and drinks dark in colour like coffee and curry. So choose wisely when you’re whitening; for example white wine vs red wine.

If you are interested in making your teeth sparkle with tooth whitening then click here to arrange a consultation.

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Priors Hall Dental

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4 Holland Square, Hampstead Road, NN17 5GT

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Monday - Thursday: 8am – 8pm

Friday: 9am - 3pm

Weekends & Evenings: by appointment only

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