Stained, yellowed, or dull teeth can get in the way of a perfect and confident smile. There are many reasons behind tooth discoloration; some are avoidable, and others are not. Teeth stains can develop from regularly consuming highly pigmented items like coffee, dental trauma, tooth decay, genetics, aging, smoking, plaque and tartar, and certain medications.
Regardless of the cause of your stains, there are numerous tricks to whiten or prevent teeth stains. Before trying the techniques highlighted below, talk to your dentist first. The dentist will examine the type of stains and guide you through the best remedies to prevent and keep your teeth brighter and healthier.
Tips to whiten and maintain brighter teeth
- Limit staining food items.
High consumption of colored and acidic food items is a common cause of tooth stains. To prevent and reduce teeth stains, limit or avoid food items like coffee, tea, colas, wines, tomato sauce, berries, pasta, and more. Acidic items like limes and apple cider vinegar also erode the tooth’s enamel, exposing the dentin and giving your teeth a dull appearance.
If you must use these items, you can consider drinking through a straw and rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash immediately after eating. It will prevent the staining ingredients from staying on the teeth and staining them.
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene.
Food particles can get trapped when you don’t brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. This debris combines with the harmful bacteria in the mouth, leading to plaque and tartar (a yellow-brown deposit that firmly forms the teeth). Apart from giving your teeth a staining appearance, these deposits also increase your risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease. Keep in mind that tartar can’t be eliminated by normal brushing and flossing.
Good hygiene tips include:
- Brush at least twice daily or after every meal.
- Floss thoroughly.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Limit sugary, starchy, and acidic foods.
- Schedule regular professional cleanings.
- Clean removable dental restorations like Invisalign® and dentures.
- Drink water regularly to stay hydrated.
Drinking water or rinsing your mouth after taking colored and acidic items like coffee and lime juice can help prevent and reduce staining. Similarly, drinking water keeps your mouth moist, which is essential to wash away bacteria and debris and prevent a dry mouth. A dry mouth increases your risk of bad breath, teeth staining, oral thrush, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.
- Avoid tobacco products.
Smoking is bad news for your overall well-being. It can turn your pearly whites yellow within a few months. Avoiding and quitting tobacco is essential to prevent tooth staining and maintain good overall health.
- Eat teeth whitening foods.
Crunchy, heavy-water, and fiber-rich foods like apples, celery, and carrots clean your teeth, removing plaque. These foods also stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralize acids and wash away bacteria and debris from the mouth.
Fruits like strawberries and pineapples also contain malic acid, a natural astringent that helps remove stains from teeth. Dairy products like milk and yogurt are rich in minerals like calcium, which strengthens and remineralizes teeth, decreasing staining.
- Regular professional whitening
Even with excellent daily brushing and flossing, you might miss thoroughly cleaning dark areas of your mouth, leading to staining and decay. Regular professional cleanings are essential to remove plaque and tartar deposits from the teeth. The dentist also polishes the teeth for a smoother and brighter appearance.
- Professional teeth whitening
If you have significant teeth stains, you can work with our dentist in Sugar Land, TX, to brighten your smile. Treatments can include:
- Teeth whitening or bleaching. Bleaching or whitening products are applied to the teeth to deactivate and remove the stains. Some treatments may require a particular light or heat to accelerate and strengthen the bleaching effect.
- Dental bonding. A tooth-colored colored composite resin material is applied and shaped on the stained tooth to hide the stains. Bonding improves your tooth’s color, shape, and size.
- Dental veneers. A veneer is a thin tooth-colored coating or shell designed to improve a damaged tooth’s color, shape, and size.
- Dental crowns. A crown covers the entire visible part of the stained or damaged tooth, giving you a brighter smile.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Do you need more information on how to whiten and prevent teeth staining? Contact Bella Smiles Cosmetic and Family Dentistry to schedule your appointment.