It’s a typical reaction when you greet someone: you flash your pearly whites in a wonderful smile. But what happens when your pearly whites aren’t so white? It can happen to anyone, but maybe it has happened to you due to stains.
You may think that your teeth are stained because of poor oral hygiene, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Though it is a cause, it is only one of many. Your teeth can become discolored due to the foods and drinks you consume, unhealthy habits, and plain ol’ Father Time, among other reasons.
Your teeth are more likely to become stained because of some obvious culprits, such as coffee, tea, cola products, and red wine. If you consume them infrequently, then brushing immediately after can remove most of the staining agents. But after consuming these beverages consistently over time with longer periods before brushing, the staining agents can be absorbed below your tooth surface, creating the discoloration. But other substances can cause staining, such as some antibiotics. This means that even the avid brusher can experience stained teeth.
Does this mean you are destined for a life of less-than-white teeth? Not necessarily. Here are some tips to help you minimize or even prevent the appearance of stained teeth and maintain excellent oral hygiene at the same time:
Watch what you eat: As stated earlier, black teas, coffee, colas, and red wine can stain your teeth, but other foods can as well. Blueberries, curries, soy sauce, beets, and red fruit juices are a few examples. Also, when there is an accelerated amount of fluoride in the water supply, drinking tap water can cause brown stains to appear. Have these foods and drinks in moderation, and brush soon as soon as you can afterwards.
Eat a balanced diet: The best way to keep your teeth looking healthy is to have a healthy diet. It will keep your teeth and gums strong, and that will affect how you smile.
Brush after eating: Brushing your teeth removes food particles, plaque, and tartar that can harm your teeth – and it can remove stains as well. Brush after eating or drinking substances that can stain your teeth will keep them looking as white as possible.
Stop smoking: Another big factor in tooth discoloration is smoking, which includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco. With consistent and prolonged use, they will cause your teeth to become yellowed. The best remedy for your stained teeth and overall health is simple: avoid tobacco!
Cosmetic whitening: Despite your best efforts, your teeth may already be, or are on their way to, becoming stained. To turn back time, you can always try a cosmetic whitening product. They are simple and easy-to-use, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s direction. You can find over-the-counter products or have the procedure done by a professional.
Visit your dentist: The most important way to keep your teeth looking white is to visit your dentist. Not only will they help you maintain healthy teeth – and healthy teeth means a great smile – but they can recommend additional methods to keep that sparkle in a way that works for you.
Flashing a great smile will make anyone’s day. And you can make that smile a dazzling one by minimizing or removing the stains that can appear by following the tips above. Say cheese!