Everyone wants a shining, white smile, so it’s disheartening if baby or adult teeth are discolored or have marks on them. Stains can be all shapes and sizes: spots, patches, a line that crosses the tooth, or a dark ring that circles between teeth. Some stains are small but others affect large areas, several teeth, or every tooth in the mouth. Most tooth stains are easy to remove, but a few develop as teeth are forming. These stains are called intrinsic and include fluorosis defects. Intrinsic stains usually require more complex treatment, so they will be discussed in a separate post.
White Spots, Calculus and Tartar
When the surface of a tooth is damaged by acidity, the first visible change is that the enamel becomes whiter than normal. When enamel is de-mineralized it is soft, like chalk. Patches of weak enamel are known as white spots, and they usually disappear when tooth enamel strengthens. If white spots are ignored, they can disintegrate and become a cavity. If mouth acidity is not controlled, especially after meals and drinks, not only will white spots form, but plaque will harden into a crusty later known as calculus or tartar.
Stains from Drinks
It’s not the color of drinks that stain teeth, but the acidity of the drink or food that opens the pores in the tooth enamel, which allows the foods and drinks to stain. Strong enamel does not stain! Don’t think it is a good idea to put xylitol into drinks to stop them from staining – it will not be effective! The drink will remain acidic and the benefit of xylitol will be lost. It is more effective to use Zellies mints and gum to protect your teeth after every meal, snack or drink.
How to Prevent Stains
Don’t try to bleach white spots away or stains from drinks, since bleaching increases enamel weakness and roughens the tooth surface (which is not the help teeth need). Of course a healthy diet is important, but to prevent white spots, calculus, and stains, it is vital to control acidity in the mouth and strengthen teeth.
Zellies protect teeth from acidity (after every meal, drink or snack) and teeth are strengthened by the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System when it is used every morning and before bed. It may take 6 months to stop stains, calculus, and plaque forming and a dental cleaning may be necessary to remove old stains and dead plaque. The good news is that after this dental visit, the future will be so much brighter for your teeth – with shiny enamel and happy teeth!
Dead Plaque Stains
It is a surprising fact but some stains signal improving oral health. This unique situation occurs when there is a rapid change from bad to great oral health. Old plaque can remain stuck between teeth, in grooves, and along the gum line. This stain is a one-time occurrence and it happens when there is a lot of infected plaque in the mouth as patients begin using the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System. Don’t worry if you notice dead plaque staining, since it tells you that your gums and mouth are getting healthier. Once a dental cleaning removes this stain it will not return, providing you maintain good oral care.
Colored (Chromorgenic) Bacteria
Some people have specific mouth germs that stain teeth – and these are called chromogenic bacteria. This stain is often seen directly after a cleaning, and most of theses patients are women with excellent oral health. We believe this unusual stain occurs after teeth have been denuded or stripped of a protective layer called pellicle (that normally repels bacteria and stains). Some things that denude teeth appear to be baking soda, peroxide, bleaching, strong acids (like citrus fruit juices) certain teas, or from a dental cleaning.
The “Step” system
We have worked to understand chromogenic stains, and find a way to eliminate it. We have discovered a method that uses a “stepped” version of the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System. Remember, this stain only happens to people who have excellent oral health and is usually experienced within days of a cleaning.
To avoid chromogenic stains we suggest you “step” into the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System, starting immediately after a dental cleaning. Use Zellies xylitol products in the normal way (after meals and drinks) but use only Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste to clean your teeth morning and night (no rinses) for the first two weeks after the cleaning. We believe Crest Cavity Protection paste and Zellies will help re-build the necessary protection layer. After this period of time, Closys and the other parts of the system can be added. By easing into the full system, it appears you can avoid chromogenic stains that some people experience.
The Step Method: – begin immediately after a dental cleaning:
- Week 1 and 2 – use only Crest Cavity Protection toothpaste and Zellies (to allow the pellicle layer to reform).
- Week 3 – add Closys before you brush – continue with Zellies as ususal
- Week4 – add Listerine and ACT steps, to resume the Zellies Complete Mouth Care System, used as normal.
Download our latest guidebooks for Ultimate Oral Health:
For more information on oral health and xylitol, please visit all of Dr. Ellie’s web-sites:
Zellies.com – learn more & order your Zellies Xylitol & the Complete Mouth Care System
Dr. Ellie.com – a great resource for learning more about oral health & Dr. Ellie
Dr. E Oral Health Coaching – articles, resources and videos to help you learn more
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