Have your pearly whites lost their luster because of dingy gray or yellow stains? Stained teeth can occur as we age, but some common foods, drinks, and even mouthwashes can stain teeth. Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth, and avoiding substances that stain teeth can stop further discolouration.
Whitening toothpastes and rinses
How to get stains off your teeth? Over-the-counter toothpastes, gels, and rinses help remove some surface stains. Many of these products contain mild abrasives, chemicals, or polishing agents. Unlike bleaches, they do not change the natural color of teeth.
Home remedies for whiter teeth
Some people still prefer the age-old home remedy of baking soda and a toothbrush to gently whiten teeth at home. Also, some foods such as celery, apples, pears, and carrots trigger lots of saliva, which helps wash away food debris on your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum is a tooth-cleansing action and also triggers saliva.
Tooth whitening and dental work
Approach tooth whitening with caution if you have lots of dental veneers, bonding, fillings, crowns, and bridges. Bleach will not lighten these manufactured teeth, meaning they will stand out among your newly whitened natural teeth. In order to match your whiter teeth, you may need to investigate new dental work, including veneers or bonding.
Preventing teeth stains
As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away. The underlying layer, called dentin, is yellower. That is why it is important to try to avoid staining teeth in the first place, especially after whitening. If you take care with foods and drinks that discolour teeth, the results of whitening may last up to one year. Whitening teeth too often could make them look translucent and blue.
To keep teeth white, do not light up
Not only is it bad for your health, smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to staining teeth. Tobacco causes brown stains that penetrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. It also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease), and increases the risk of most types of cancer.
Foods that cause teeth stains
There is another reason to watch what you eat. Some common foods can discolor teeth. Here is an easy way to tell if a food might be at fault: Anything that can stain a white cotton T-shirt can stain teeth, say dentists. Coffee stains teeth, for example. Other top offenders are beverages such as tea, dark sodas, and fruit juices.
Medications that can stain teeth
The antibiotic tetracycline causes gray teeth in children whose teeth are still developing. Antibacterial mouthwashes can also stain teeth. Some antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and blood pressure medications cause tooth stains, as can iron and excess fluoride.
Do not forget daily maintenance
One simple strategy can help maintain white teeth: brush. Brush at least twice daily. Even better, brush after every meal and snack. Brushing helps prevent stains and yellow teeth, especially at the gum line. Both electric and sonic toothbrushes may be superior to traditional toothbrushes in removing plaque and surface stains on teeth. Also, do not forget to floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash daily.
Visit your dentist for whiter teeth
See your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleaning. The abrasion and polishing methods dentists use can remove many teeth stains caused by food and tobacco.