Have your white fillings started to look a little dingier than they used to? If so, they’ve probably become stained. That’s right – fillings can get stains too!
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to fix discoloured fillings and restore your pearly white smile. Let’s take a closer look at how fillings get stained and what you can do to solve the problem.
How Do Fillings Get Discoloured?
White dental fillings are made of porous materials like glass ionomer and resin composite. When these materials are exposed to dark-coloured food and drink (including coffee, tea, wine, curry, tomato sauce, and more), they may absorb some particles of that food and drink. This makes the filling appear darker.
This same process causes stains on natural teeth. However, stained fillings can’t be whitened with bleach the way that natural teeth can.
4 Ways to Fix a Stained Filling
1. Replace the Filling
Many stained fillings are quite old and are no longer properly bonded to the tooth material around them. These fillings need to be replaced to keep the tooth healthy. When your dentist installs the new filling, they will match its colour to the rest of your teeth and bond it to the tooth with no visible margins. By the time they’re done, you’ll have a harmonious and stain-free white smile again.
2. Have the Filling Polished
Sometimes fillings become stained well before they’re ready to be replaced. In these cases, dentists can use a drill or polisher to remove a very thin layer of the filling’s outer material. This removes the stained material and makes the filling look new again.
3. Get Veneers
If your stained filling is in a prominent part of your smile, you might want to cover the affected area with veneers. Veneers are thin porcelain or resin shells that can be placed over individual teeth to alter their appearance. You can use them to cover the front of the teeth with stained fillings, making it look like the tooth was never restored in the first place.
4. Brush Your Teeth Frequently
In the first few days after a filling is exposed to staining particles, the stains are surface-level only. They become long-term stains if they stick around long enough to settle into the resin’s surface. Brushing your teeth more often helps disrupt those particles and keep them from bonding to the composite filling material. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mildly abrasive toothpaste to scrape off those staining particles and wash them away.
Repair Your Stained Fillings Today
Whether you need your stained fillings replaced or just want them touched up a bit, Coscarella Family Dentistry is here to help. Our team will help you identify and treat stained fillings so you always feel confident flashing your radiant smile. Contact us today to book your appointment and make your discoloured fillings disappear.