Dear Dr. Phillips:
My dental history has been such that other than repairing the errors of bad dentistry in my teens, I haven’t had a cavity during the adulthood of my 53 years. I’ve been flossing all along and have had dentists tell me things such as, “You have the gums of a 21-year-old.” My current dentist is somewhat holistic, and he told me that because of my good oral hygiene, I don’t need a cleaning unless I notice gum bleeding. I went to a dental school clinic once and the person working on me summoned all her coworkers to look at my wonderful dental work and maintenance.
With this history, I have been using your dental-care system for a number of months. I learned about it from a podcast of Mitch Raven’s show. Yesterday I looked at my teeth outdoors in the mirror and noticed, for the first time ever, I had some blackish-gray stains on my teeth! (Any plaque I have is usually whitish, and located on my bottom front teeth.) How shocking! Perhaps I am doing something wrong. Kindly let me know what I may need to do.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Thanks for your message and I am delighted to try and explain why this staining happened.
Most people think of plaque as being a white layer on teeth. This white layer is a very late stage of plaque – a stage that damages teeth and gums. NEVER let plaque get to this stage!!
In the early stages of plaque – smaller plaque bacteria grow on teeth in a way that you cannot see. These bacteria are in your saliva and on the skin of your gums and teeth. These bacteria transfer when you kiss others or share food.
As you imporve your oral health – and eliminate 98% of these harmful bacteria, they often land on teeth – in places that you may have trouble brushing – or where they are firmly attached to your teeth( often at the gum line). Imagine leaves falling off the trees in the Fall and landing in “undisturbed” areas where perhaps you brush less or cannot brush.
One cleaning at the dentist should clear these away – and they should not return if you stay on the system. If you do get repeat staining – then the chances are that you are getting re-infected from someone who has bad oral health. You may want to increase the amount of xylitol you have each day ( to protect you) or try to introduce them to my system ( to stop them infecting others) .
Your hygieininst may complain she has never see so much staining – but she will probably comment that your teeth and gums have never looked better!! Let her clean it all away – and then you should be good to go onward with a lifetime of great oral health. She may want to give you a new toothpaste or something for whitening – PLEASE don’t be tempted – this is almost always a one time event.
One last thing – make sure your toothbrush is cleaned ever day – especially in summer weather when molds and fungus can grow on brushes. Swish your brush in Listerine and then rinse out and allow your brush to dry completely before using again – dry in sunshine if possible.
Here is a link to this explanation at the end of this page on my website:
Hope this helps,