Unsightly tooth stains can diminish your smile and confidence, but luckily, there are many cosmetic dentistry solutions for this common problem. Discover what causes stained enamel and what you can do to address it below.

What Causes Tooth Stains?

Stains can be caused by pigmented foods and beverages, such as tea, red wine, coffee, dark berries, and brightly colored sauces, that leave colored deposits on the teeth. They’re also created when abrasive or acidic agents wear away at enamel, exposing the yellow dentin underneath.

Certain medications also cause yellowing, including the antibiotics doxycycline and tetracycline. Poor dental hygiene, aging, and even genetics can also play a role in discoloration, though the most notorious staining behaviors are chewing and smoking tobacco.

How Are They Treated?

cosmetic dentistry

Fortunately, there are cosmetic dentistry options available to combat tooth discoloration. At home, whitening toothpastes and mouth rinses can help make teeth appear lighter. For example, some products contain an agent known as "blue covarine," which attaches to teeth and creates an illusion of brightness. Others polish the teeth gently to rid the enamel's surface of stains.

Professional cosmetic dentistry solutions are also available for even stronger results. In-office or take-home treatments contain more potent whitening agents, such as peroxide, to brighten enamel. These are specially designed to achieve your desired results and administered under the care of dental experts.

How Can You Prevent Them?

Avoiding known staining agents is essential for maintaining a bright smile. Additionally, sipping beverages that leave stains through straws can help you avoid stains. If you enjoy deeply-hued foods or sauces, rinse with water afterward. Finally, maintain optimal oral hygiene by brushing and flossing each day and going for professional cleanings at six-month intervals.


Whether you have a cosmetic concern or you’re simply due for a cleaning, Dansville Family Dental Care is your source for quality oral care in Livingston County, NY. This friendly dentist’s office has been practicing since 2001 and offers a wide array of services, including general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Find out more about their whitening options online, or call (585) 335-6170 to schedule a consultation.