Prevent your Teeth from Staining Yellow
Everyone wants to have white, healthy-looking teeth, but age, the foods we eat, and the beverages we consume all conspire to dull our smile and stain our teeth. In truth, teeth are not naturally a perfect white to begin with; the enamel on the surface of our teeth is white, but the underlying dentin layer is slightly yellow in colour and for most people, shows through.
Even if your natural tooth colour is slightly yellow to begin with, they tend to darken over time. Enamel cracks and erodes, giving the less-dense dentin an opportunity to absorb food colour. Stains can also be visible in the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth and in the spaces in-between.
Fortunately, many of the most common stains, such as those from coffee and smoking, can be cleaned away. Here are some tips for helping to prevent the stains that can darken your teeth:
Brush After Eating
You knew this one was coming and it’s probably the most obvious, but brushing after consuming foods and beverages that are known to cause stains will help protect your teeth.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
Although proper cleaning is more dependent on technique than tools, those who are reluctant brushers tend to do better and brush longer and more often with an electric brush.
Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Many store-bought whitening products used to be too abrasive and could thus damage your enamel, but manufacturers are starting to make better use of peroxide to give a slightly brighter effect upon brushing, while being safer for your teeth.
Monitor Your Plaque
This is really a continuation of the brushing theme. Use a plaque-disclosing solution to reveal the spots you are missing when you brush. If you don’t improve your technique, these are the areas that your teeth will stain.
Use Antibacterial Mouthwash
If you are just rinsing or trying to freshen your breath, most mouthwashes are fine, but an antibacterial mouthwash will help reduce plaque, providing fewer opportunities for stains.
Limit the Foods and Drinks that Stain
Another obvious one: try to avoid the foods and drinks that causes stains or enjoy them in moderation. Some examples are coffee and tea, red and white wine, beets, soy sauce, tomato sauce, and grape and cranberry juice.
Drink with a Straw
This helps to keep beverages like soda, coffee, and tea away from the visible front surface of your teeth.
It doesn’t matter whether you are chewing it or smoking it, tobacco stains and obviously has other negative effects on your health. If you are having trouble quitting, your doctor can help.
Eat Foods that Whiten Teeth Naturally
Strawberries contain malic acid, which can remove discolouration. Crunchy fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, and celery increase saliva production which helps wash away bacteria and food particles, minimizing discolouration. Raw cauliflower and broccoli are high in fibre and somewhat coarse, providing a natural abrasive that can help scrub your teeth clean. Lactic acid in dairy foods can protect against enamel erosion, and hard cheese can help remove bacteria and plaque buildup.
Of course, if your teeth become discoloured, your dentist can provide a professional whitening, but stains will return if you don’t do your part to keep your teeth pearly white. These tips can help you, but to learn more or to ask about professional whitening, contact us today!