Mount Kisco dentist Dr. Carolyn Clemenza noticed more patients coming in with brown spots on their teeth, and found many of them were using mouthwashes and toothpastes that can cause staining.
Everybody knows that red wine and coffee can stain your teeth.
But what if you found out your mouthwash or toothpaste was doing the same thing?
Actually, it’s common with certain products. In fact, Mount Kisco dentist Dr. Carolyn Clemenza began seeing so many people in her practice with brown-stained teeth that she sent out an email, letting patients know that Crest Pro-Health mouth rinse and toothpaste can cause tooth discoloration.
“It’s a big issue for certain people, and some of those stains are very difficult to get off,” says Clemenza, explaining that the products dislodge bacteria that may cling to the teeth, turning into brown spots.
Crest Pro-Health toothpaste contains stannous fluoride, says Clemenza. “If you’re using that every day, you’re going to have what looks like coffee stains,” she says. “In the past, we used to give stannous fluoride to patients who had a high rate of decay. But I don’t believe you need to have your teeth stained. There are other products that do just as good a job.”
The active ingredient in Crest Pro-Health mouthwash is cetylpyridinium chloride. “If you read the fine print on the back of the bottle, it will tell you it stains your teeth,” says Clemenza.
Although Procter & Gamble representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment, the company addresses the teeth-staining issue with its Pro-Health mouthwash on the Crest web site with this statement: “Like all mouthwashes that effectively fight plaque and gingivitis, Crest Pro-Health Rinse can contribute to temporary, surface-level brown tooth discoloration, which is reported by a small percentage of individuals.”
It also speaks to the “staining potential” of its Pro-Health toothpaste, stating that the FDA requires all products containing stannous fluoride to note that possible side effect on the label — and that Crest Pro-Health toothpaste contains other ingredients that make teeth white.
What’s the best way not to stain your teeth as you’re trying to keep them clean?
Read labels carefully, and avoid stannous flouride and cetylpyridinium chloride whenever possible, says Clemenza.