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  #41  
Old 20.07.2010, 21:59
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

I have used Elmex toothpaste exclusively for the late 25 years, believe me, other than being able to buy it re-imported by Denner at half the Swiss prices, it has no discolouring properties at all...
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Old 20.07.2010, 22:08
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

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I have used Elmex toothpaste exclusively for the late 25 years, believe me, other than being able to buy it re-imported by Denner at half the Swiss prices, it has no discolouring properties at all...
Perhaps it affects some but not others?
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  #43  
Old 21.07.2010, 00:43
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

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Perhaps it affects some but not others?
No all my teeth are white...
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  #44  
Old 21.07.2010, 17:01
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Interestingly enough, I just opened the package of the new ELMEX EROSION. The information sheet, inside the box, says it all!

Under the Question; "Was ist bei der Anwendung von elmex EROSIONSSCHUTZ Zahnspüllung zu beachten?"

4th sentence:
"Produkte, die ZINN enthalten, können oberflächliche Farbveränderungen an den Zähnen verursachen, die durch gründliches Putzen oder durch eine professionelle Zahnreinigung entfernt werden können."

Since I am not a native GERMAN speaker, I will not translate this for you. However, it sounds like the company, itself, does admit to this occurrence.

I think this discussion proves the power of brands and loyalty, more than anything. Interesting. No?
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  #45  
Old 21.07.2010, 18:56
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

"
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Perhaps it affects some but not others?
"

It is true, the products, like Stannous Fluoride (Zinn FL) and Chlorohexidene (Curasept, PLAX OUT, etc) act upon the bacterial film, which sticks to our teeth. If this film, Plaque, is TOTALLY removed from the teeth, through perfect hygiene, there will not be the problem of staining. Unfortunately, most people are not so perfect , and the bacteria gets stained.

Another product, cholorohexidene, is often prescribed after surgery, or for periodontitis (gum disease). It is a wonderful product, and can stop the infectious process. However, its stains are far worse than stannous fluoride, and even affects the margins of the composit (white) fillings. Long term, a patient might be angry to end up with stained fillings. It is always a compromise between benefits and side effects. Just the same with the stannous fluoride. For some people, it helps them to control their gingivitis, bad breath or erosion, and they do not care about the possible discoloration. I only think people should be informed....
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  #46  
Old 21.07.2010, 20:31
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

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4th sentence:
"Produkte, die ZINN enthalten, können oberflächliche Farbveränderungen an den Zähnen verursachen, die durch gründliches Putzen oder durch eine professionelle Zahnreinigung entfernt werden können."
This means:
Products that contain zinc may cause superficial discolouration of teeth, which can be removed by thorough cleaning or by a professional cleaning.

"may cause" and "can be removed" are noteworthy here, methinks. Just have to clean your teeth properly
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  #47  
Old 22.07.2010, 21:10
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Susan has kindly clarified her original post for me in a couple of PMs. Thank you for taking the time to do this:

The staining referred to in the original post is caused by the Elmex green (sensitive) and Meridol toothpastes. The other Elmex products (red tube, junior and kids toothpaste) are OK to use.
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  #48  
Old 18.09.2010, 14:32
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

I'd like to bring this thread back to life if I may...

Susan: in your experience, are Swiss dentists more likely to promote Elmex for children? My preschooler hasn't been to a dentist yet (still trying to find a kind one who won't frighten him for the rest of his life), but I've been to 2 different dentists who recommended hands-down Elmex for kids, and my neighbour claims the same experience . Is Elmex really the best we can do for our kids' teeth?
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  #49  
Old 26.02.2011, 10:51
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Hi Havanah,
After my last experience with this thread I am cautious to express my opinions. I do know the Swiss Dentists do promote Elmex for children, which I "believe" is a good thing to do. From my experience, it is the long term adult toothpastes, especially the Elmex grün, which causes the staining problems. The main concern with small children is the prevention of tooth decay, which fluoride has been shown to accomplish. (also controversial)

Another point to examine is the use of fluoride in the cooking salt, which has been added, along with iodine. I learned the optimal amount of fluoride is between 2 and 4 ppm (parts per million) I am not sure how one determines how much fluoride our children receive, by adding it to the salt. I thought too much salt was not good for children... Years ago, there were little tablets available...

Two types of fluoride: SYSTEMIC and TOPICAL
SYSTEMIC: ingested while teeth are in development
TOPICAL: added to toothpastes or gels to surface of already existing teeth.

In Switzerland, the dentists do not suggest the toothpaste to be rinsed out, after brushing. I suppose this will be ingested, thus becoming SYSTEMIC....??

I tried to investigate this for a very famous Swiss athlete patient of mine, for his little girls and was not able to come up with a clear answer. I even went to the Zürich Schulzahnarzt Klinic and also did not get a clear answer.

My advice: be moderate. Use the Elmex for the kids, let them swallow it, and do not use the salt. MY OPINION...
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  #50  
Old 26.02.2011, 11:00
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

This week a long time patient of mine came in for his cleaning. For years, he came in every three months due to his excessive stain. He owns a tea and gourmet shop and is a smoker, so we assumed these were the reasons.

However, this year has passed and he has not been back, until this week. At his appointment, he opened his mouth and I was astonished! I asked; "where is YOUR STAIN?" He smiled and a replied; "I stopped the Elmex like you suggested." Wow-wow-wow! Even I was surprised! BTW he still smokes and has his gourmet tea shop.
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  #51  
Old 26.02.2011, 11:13
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Sorry, Havanah, just another note and then I promise to stop!

Success story:
A mother came in with her 4 year old daughter, as her two front bottom teeth were very wobbly. We took x-rays and discovered she had a big abcess at the bottom of teeth, just about the developing permanent incisors. We needed to extract those teeth.

Before her appointment I honestly worried about how it would go and what we could do to provide a non traumatic experience and came up with an idea. The little girl would sit upon her mother, whom we would recline together. Then, I held my gloved hand up, above he rupper lip-line as a shield for her view and rapidly spoke Spanish, to keep her focused on me, while Dr. J injected her lower lip and extracted the two teeth. The entire procedure lasted 4 minutes and not a tear was shed! That was a proud moment.

A GREAT suggestion is to take your child with you, for your hygienist appointment. She can observe how it does not hurt mommie, and how relaxed you are. Then, at the end of the appointment, allow her to sit in the big chair and have her teeth checked. ONLY do as much as she permits.....no pressure. This is my technique which has always been a success...Good luck!!
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Old 26.02.2011, 13:59
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Susan, thank you very much for all the useful info you provided. Sorry I missed this thread last year.

However, I'd like to rectify a few things. I've been in this business for more than 40 years, in research as well as in oral surgery practice, so I feel entitled to do so.

First of all, Elmex (the regular one with the mainly orange print and also Elmex Sensitive with the green print) contains no stannous fluoride and never has. It contains Olaflur, which is another name for amine fluoride 297 and has nothing to do with stannous fluoride.

By the way, most of the research for the development of Olaflur was done at the Kariesforschungsstation (Caries Research Station) of the then Dental Institute (now Center for Dental and Oral Medicine and Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery -- can't get much longer....) of the University of Zurich. At that point in time, GABA AG was a company that mainly made herb pastilles, a.k.a. smokers' candies (!).

I'm not so sure if stannous fuoride really is the main cause of tooth staining. As soon as Elmex Sensitive hit the market, within half a year or so we began noticing heavy discolorations. As I wrote above, Elmex Sensitive contains no stannous fluoride, so that can't be blamed. However, Elmex Sensitive tradionally is very low on abrasivity lists, which, put in a very simplified manner, means it's gentle to the dentin but also to the plaque and pigment causing tooth discoloration. I just do not recommend it. Never. Regular Elmex ok, but not Sensitive.

I don't think it's good to swallow fluoridated paste. Systemic fluoride is very difficult to control anyway. Many specialists recommend spitting it out, but not rinsing the mouth, unlike what we learned in kindergarten and school in the 'fifties.

Oral / dental hygiene in Switzerland did not start about 30 years ago, as you stated. When I was a kid almost 60 years ago, there were mandatory annual check-ups organized by the school, combined with hygiene instructions and professional cleaning. By the late 'sixties, the percentage of toothless Army recruits had dropped from 20% (in WW II) to less than 1%, while, at the same time, the British Army still scored around 16%.

Granted, there were no dental hygiene schools in Switzerland for quite a long time. That was because most of the DHs were imported from the USA and Canada. The first Swiss DH school was founded in Zurich in 1973. I know it; I was there.

I opened my practice in 1977. Besides a technical lab, a microbio lab, three surgery rooms, sterilization and x-ray rooms etc., it also had a DH treatment room plus a special room with all sorts of equipment for hygiene instruction (slide and cinefilm projectors, demonstration microscope, professional video cameras and recorders, etc.).

Dental hygiene with all it's facets was normal practice then and had been for many years before at most dental practices. Of course there still were a few old stubborn blockheads around that didn't care, but your remark of July 20, 2010 at 13:36 sounded like Switzerland was kind of a dental banana republic in the mid 'eighties, which was absolutely not the case.

So the jackhammer thing may have been true for the circle of patients at the place where you started working in the 'eighties, but definitely not for Switzerland in general. Already in the 'seventies, 98% of our patients were in a regular check-up recall system, out in the boondocks of Heidiland, mind you, and I think that was general standard in a majority of dental practices. There always are and were exceptions, of course.

I totally agree to every word you wrote in your last paragraph.
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  #53  
Old 26.02.2011, 14:44
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Hi Dr. "Graybeard",
Many thanks for your expert and informative message. Obviously, you have a world of experience to share and are definitely an insider. Most of us are limited by our scope of experience and knowledge, and I would never pretend to know everything. I have, however, worked in five countries, in four languages, in countless dental offices. Mainly, I love what I do, and like the idea of empowering the patients with the ability to take care of themself. The fact many patients were using products which caused stain, was concerning to me, thus, my original message. It did open a can of worms, and forced me to do more research and to acknowledge my own limitations.

You are absolutely correct about the Elmex Grün and stannous fluoride. It is the Meridol, which uses stannous fluoride, as well as an American toothpaste, called Pro-Health. Actually, in some cases, Stannous Fluoride can be of great benefit, especially when treating some cases of periodontal disease. I actually recommend it, when the health factor is at risk. Even yellow teeth, are better than no teeth. I suppose you agree.

I think another factor, which has become an issue is the RDA (abrasivity index) of toothpastes, which is another area of concern for me. So many patients suffer from abrasion/erosion and are slowly losing their enamel. Of course, one must also evaluate the other factors, like diet.

As I have worked in several countries, with the dental hygiene profession in development, I have personally seen the huge effect it has had upon the population. Switzerland has been a forerunner, in this sense. I apologize to you, if my comments indicated otherwise. I am Swiss, as well, and am proud of it.

It seems the more I know, the less I know, and the more I want to know! You have certainly felt the same, after 60 years. Bravo!

BTW, have a look at my thread concerning dentistry in "ausland". I would like to hear your response.
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  #54  
Old 26.02.2011, 17:33
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Hello There,

I just wanted to know if anyone has an opinion about the green-and-white tube Colgate "herbal" toothpaste, which I've stopped using. My sister came to visit me with her brand new, white-bristled toothbrush, and the bristles soon became tainted a sickly green within a week of brushing with that toothpaste. I was so embarassed when she asked me if we could please change the brand of toothpaste...
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  #55  
Old 26.02.2011, 17:35
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Summary:

- Check your toothpaste for stannous fluoride.
- If you are using a tooth paste with this ingredient and you find your teeth are yellow or stained try a different product.
- Read labels, leaflets and warnings that come with the products you buy.

How was that?

Now, can I ask a question?
My teeth are actually on the white side even though I drink wine and coffee and smoke (all in moderation), but I've been told this is because I have thin enamel.

People with thicker enamel have darker teeth and those with thinner enamel had whiter teeth. 1. Is this true? and 2. If it is true, what is enamel erosion? how do I know I have it & how can I prevent it?
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Old 26.02.2011, 17:53
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Try Signal "White Now".Get it at Denner.
Quite expensive but really works well to make teeth white.
I used Elmex for many years but they definitely look more white with this
toothpaste.
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  #57  
Old 26.02.2011, 18:11
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

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Now, can I ask a question?
My teeth are actually on the white side even though I drink wine and coffee and smoke (all in moderation), but I've been told this is because I have thin enamel.

People with thicker enamel have darker teeth and those with thinner enamel had whiter teeth. 1. Is this true? and 2. If it is true, what is enamel erosion? how do I know I have it & how can I prevent it?
Brushing your teeth straight after something acidic can be bad for the tooth enamel. I see my colleagues running off to the bathroom to brush their teeth straight after lunch. You ideally should wait at least an hour.
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Old 26.02.2011, 19:22
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

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Hi Dr. "Graybeard",
Many thanks for your expert and informative message. Obviously, you have a world of experience to share and are definitely an insider. Most of us are limited by our scope of experience and knowledge, and I would never pretend to know everything. I have, however, worked in five countries, in four languages, in countless dental offices. Mainly, I love what I do, and like the idea of empowering the patients with the ability to take care of themself. The fact many patients were using products which caused stain, was concerning to me, thus, my original message. It did open a can of worms, and forced me to do more research and to acknowledge my own limitations.

You are absolutely correct about the Elmex Grün and stannous fluoride. It is the Meridol, which uses stannous fluoride, as well as an American toothpaste, called Pro-Health. Actually, in some cases, Stannous Fluoride can be of great benefit, especially when treating some cases of periodontal disease. I actually recommend it, when the health factor is at risk. Even yellow teeth, are better than no teeth. I suppose you agree.

I think another factor, which has become an issue is the RDA (abrasivity index) of toothpastes, which is another area of concern for me. So many patients suffer from abrasion/erosion and are slowly losing their enamel. Of course, one must also evaluate the other factors, like diet.

As I have worked in several countries, with the dental hygiene profession in development, I have personally seen the huge effect it has had upon the population. Switzerland has been a forerunner, in this sense. I apologize to you, if my comments indicated otherwise. I am Swiss, as well, and am proud of it.

It seems the more I know, the less I know, and the more I want to know! You have certainly felt the same, after 60 years. Bravo!

BTW, have a look at my thread concerning dentistry in "ausland". I would like to hear your response.
Susan, thank you very much. I couldn't agree more.

I already briefly mentioned the RDA issue (just using the more general term 'abrasivity' instead. If we start trying to explain to our fellow EFers what RDA means, we'll get into rough waters.

Life is a process of permanent learning, and so is science, not matter what kind. In one of your earlier posts on this thread you mentioned the four factors that influence dental health, a very nice summary, by the way. Believe it or not, in the late 'sixties, the Department of Conservative Dentistry at the Dewtal School in Zurich more or less flat out denied a hereditary influence. Those guys said the genes may matter in a few very rare cases, but that's about it. They have learned quite a bit meanwhile.

By the way, forget academic titles and the like, just call me Captain, ok?

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Summary:

- Check your toothpaste for stannous fluoride.
- If you are using a tooth paste with this ingredient and you find your teeth are yellow or stained try a different product.
- Read labels, leaflets and warnings that come with the products you buy.

How was that?
Good job! I'd like to add that there may be good reasons for using stannous fluoride, as Susan already stated above, but if that is the case and serious staining does occur, I'd recommend using the stannous stuff and another paste alternately instead of forgoing the possible health benefits of the stannous fluoride for the sake of mere beauty. Susan, what do you think?

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Now, can I ask a question?
My teeth are actually on the white side even though I drink wine and coffee and smoke (all in moderation), but I've been told this is because I have thin enamel.

People with thicker enamel have darker teeth and those with thinner enamel had whiter teeth. 1. Is this true? and 2. If it is true, what is enamel erosion? how do I know I have it & how can I prevent it?
I can't quite follow that kind of logic. Actually, the enamel generally is rather on the whitish side. The dentin, which is the layer beneath the enamel, is more yellowish - brownish. The thinner the enamel, the more you can see the darker dentin through it.

On the other hand, there are huge differences expecially as to the color of dentin. In our lab, we use 48 dentin colors for making crowns that match their natural neighbors. You wouldn't believe the wide range of colors.

The color is mostly a hereditary thing, apart from discolorations by pigments and the like. On the other hand, you must know that dentin normally turns darker as the decades pile up on your birth certificate. Most of that change has nothing to do with the external staining that is the main topic of this thread; it comes from the inside.

As for erosion -- the main problem is dentin erosion, not enamel erosion. I'd venture to say I need to see 100 severe dentin erosion cases to see one enamel erosion that really matters. Most of those are caused by excessive and usually technically wrong brushing combined with dietary factors, as already briefly alluded to both by Susan and Marie.

There also are cases of severe enamel abrasion caused by grinding / gnashing the teeth, known as bruxism in Dentalese, but that's another topic.

Enamel is about as hard as glass, thus very resistant to abrasion, unless chemically attacked by acids, see Marie's post (acidic, in that context, meaning fresh fruit, many beverages like cola, lemonades and pretty much everything that comes in little bottles or cans, is bubbly and pleases the palate).

The enamel covers the entire crown of every tooth, but not its root. The dentin is only about as hard as compact bone, thus can be abraded fairly easily. The dentin inside the crown normally is protected by the enamel, but the the root dentin isn't.

The root dentin of young people usually is covered by the gums, but most adults have some gum recession. Up to a certain degree that's normal and very much a matter of the genes too, but gums can get brushed away by wrong handling of the tooth brush.

Anyway, gum recession means that the dentin surface of the roots gets exposed to abrasion caused by brushing. The dentin abrasion caused by eating usually isn't very pronounced, but poor brushing technique can dig a deep groove into the root dentin in just a few years.

The problem is, people who think they do a great job because they brush their teeth very frequently may ruin their root dentin unless they really know how to do it properly. That's where Susan and her ilk come into the picture, showing you what to do and how to do it, including the abrasivity aspect of tooth pastes.
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Old 26.02.2011, 20:59
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

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Good job! I'd like to add that there may be good reasons for using stannous fluoride, as Susan already stated above, but if that is the case and serious staining does occur, I'd recommend using the stannous stuff and another paste alternately instead of forgoing the possible health benefits of the stannous fluoride for the sake of mere beauty. Susan, what do you think?
Yes. I did mean to add that to the summary. SF can be necessary for certian "problems" but since I wasn't sure what how, I left it off. I hope I still get good marks!


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I can't quite follow that kind of logic. Actually, the enamel generally is rather on the whitish side. The dentin, which is the layer beneath the enamel, is more yellowish - brownish. The thinner the enamel, the more you can see the darker dentin through it.
I don't know the logic either. I've just heard it said. Maybe they mean thin teeth in general where thicker teeth have thicker dentin?



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On the other hand, there are huge differences expecially as to the color of dentin. In our lab, we use 48 dentin colors for making crowns that match their natural neighbors. You wouldn't believe the wide range of colors.
I went to get my teeth whitened a few weeks ago and I was surprised that I was only three down from the lightest. I haven't been to the dentist since I left CH 2 years ago.

I wonder if these little sample teeth are the same for every country. My teeth certainly are not blinding white like we see on celebrities.

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The problem is, people who think they do a great job because they brush their teeth very frequently may ruin their root dentin unless they really know how to do it properly. That's where Susan and her ilk come into the picture, showing you what to do and how to do it, including the abrasivity aspect of tooth pastes.
Ah. So erosion is a problem at the gum and the root?

Thanks for insight. An interesting thread.
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Old 27.02.2011, 00:56
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Re: BROWN and YELLOW teeth from toothpastes

Hi,
I have actually heard this argument, althougoh I honestly do not know if it is true. The dentin (second layer of tooth) is far more yellow than the enamel, so it makes sense for thin enamel to show more of the dentin, and not the contrary. The quality of enamel can vary a lot. If you have particular problems, best to ask your dentist or an experienced hygienist. Good luck.

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Summary:

- Check your toothpaste for stannous fluoride.
- If you are using a tooth paste with this ingredient and you find your teeth are yellow or stained try a different product.
- Read labels, leaflets and warnings that come with the products you buy.

How was that?

Now, can I ask a question?
My teeth are actually on the white side even though I drink wine and coffee and smoke (all in moderation), but I've been told this is because I have thin enamel.

People with thicker enamel have darker teeth and those with thinner enamel had whiter teeth. 1. Is this true? and 2. If it is true, what is enamel erosion? how do I know I have it & how can I prevent it?
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