Want brighter, whiter teeth?
Have your pearly whites lost their lustre due to teeth stains? Stained teeth can occur naturally as we age, but some common foods, drinks and even mouthwashes can cause teeth stains. Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth and avoiding substances that stain teeth can stop further discolouration. Use these secrets for whiter teeth to help restore your bright smile.
1.Do-It-yourself teeth whitening
You may be able to get rid of superficial teeth stains by yourself. A number of at-home teeth whitening products - kits, strips and toothpastes - may lighten stains. There are even some old-fashioned remedies you can try. Tooth whitening products available on pharmacy shelves use mild bleaching to brighten yellow teeth. Toothpastes use abrasives and chemicals to remove surface stains. For deep stains, you may need a dentist's help.
2.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. To match your new tooth shade, you may need to investigate new dental work, including veneers or bonding.
3.Preventing teeth stains
As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away. The underlying layer, called dentin, is more yellow. That's why it's important to avoid teeth stains in the first place, especially after whitening. If you take care with foods and drinks that cause tooth discolouration, the results of teeth whitening may last up to one year. Whitening teeth too often could make them look translucent and blue - so you'll want to maintain your new smile.
4.To keep teeth white, don’t light up
Not only is it bad for your health, smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to teeth stains. Tobacco causes brown stains that penetrate the groves and pits of tooth enamel. These can be hard to remove by brushing alone. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. Smoking also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease), and increases risk of oral cancers.
5.Foods that cause teeth stains
There's another reason to watch what you eat: some common foods can cause tooth discolouration. Here's 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 fizzy drinks and fruit juices. These teeth stains develop slowly and become more noticeable as we age.
6.Think as you drink
They may be packed with disease-fighting antioxidants but a glass of red wine, cranberry juice or grape juice also stain teeth easily. That doesn't mean you should give them up, but remember to brush or rinse your mouth after you drink. These aren't the only teeth-staining foods to be aware of...
7.More foods that stain teeth
The deep colour of these fruits and vegetables give them their nutritional punch. But blueberries, blackberries and beetroot leave their colour on teeth as well. Eat up for your health and prevent tooth stains by:
- Brushing teeth an hour after eating.
- Rinsing your mouth with water.
8.Sports drinks tough on teeth?
While all sweetened drinks are bad for teeth, some energy and sports drinks may be worse, according to studies. Researchers found that these drinks - as well as bottled lemonade - may erode tooth enamel after long-term use. The result is thin, translucent, discoloured teeth. To prevent tooth erosion:
Don't sit and sip these drinks for a long time.
9.Medication that can stain teeth
The antibiotic tetracycline cause grey teeth in children whose teeth are still developing. Antibacterial mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain teeth. Some antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs and blood pressure medications cause tooth stains, as can iron and too much fluoride. If bleaching doesn't help, ask your dentist about dental bonding, in which a tooth-coloured material is applied to teeth.
10.Don’t forget daily maintenance
One simple strategy can help maintain white teeth: brush. Brush at least twice and floss at least once daily. Even better, brush an hour after every meal. Brushing helps prevent tooth stains and yellow teeth, especially at the gum line.
Open wide and say "whiter teeth!"
See your dentist for regular check ups and a hygienist for professional cleaning. The abrasion and polishing methods they use can remove most teeth stains caused by food and tobacco.