Are dingy gray or yellow stains eating away at your pearly whites? Stained teeth can be a normal phenomenon of aging as the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away, but it is often worsened by the food, drinks and habits you may take and adopt every day. Fret not, as here are some basic tips on things to avoid and simple remedies that you can try today for whiter, brighter teeth. Regain that confident smile once again!
#1: Daily Care – Brush & Floss
Here’s the most important habit summarised in one word – brush. Do it at least twice a day and for maximum effect, work your toothbrush on those teeth each time you have a meal or snack. This stops stains from sticking to your teeth, especially at the gum line. If you can, use an electric and sonic toothbrush as it is better at removing plaque and surface stains on teeth than the traditional toothbrush. Needless to say, you should also floss and rinse with antiseptic mouthwash daily.
#2: Whitening Toothpaste
There are a number of teeth-whitening products you may already have lying around at home that can lighten stains, such as toothpaste and rinses. The abrasive chemicals in your toothpaste are usually strong enough to remove surface stains. Always use an abrasive toothpaste with a soft toothbrush. If you have teeth wear, always check with your dental professional before use of teeth whitening toothpaste.
#3: Preventing Teeth Stain
As a rule of thumb, if it can stain a white cotton t-shirt, it can stain your teeth. A number of common foods often lead to the development of teeth stains that become more noticeable as we age. Beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, red wine and even fruit juices can lead to dull-looking and discoloured teeth. Deep-coloured foods such as blueberries and beets leave their colour on teeth too.
While it is not possible to avoid them altogether, simple steps which include using a straw to drink, or brushing your teeth 30 minutes after eating and rinsing, can help to prevent teeth stains.
#4: Stay Away from Cigarettes
Apart from the adverse impact on health, smoking is known to be a common cause of teeth stains.
Tobacco leads to stains that permeate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel which is often hard to remove by day-to-day brushing.
Staying away from cigarettes would help to avoid potentially entrenching stains, keeping your teeth bright and breath fresh.
#5: Dental Take-home Whitening Kit
A take-home teeth whitening kit contains peroxide-based gel and a custom-fitted tray that moulds to your teeth. It is a gradual process and results are usually seen in a week of continuous application.
While the kit yields great results, it is safe and non-invasive. You can now renew your smile in the convenience of your own home by choosing a dental take-home whitening kit.
It is also a more affordable alternative to chairside whitening.
#6: Bi-annual Scaling and Polishing
A scale and polish cleans teeth thoroughly and is essential in preventing common dental problems such as dental cavities and gum problems. Scaling removes hardened plaque called calculus which cannot be removed by daily brushing and clears out trapped food and plaque containing germs which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Stains from food, beverages or cigarettes are also cleaned away when your teeth are polished, leaving it looking cleaner and brighter.
#7: Chairside Whitening by Dentist
Chairside whitening is an in-clinic process managed by a dental professional to whiten teeth through the use of whitening systems, such as Zoom. A blue wavelength light is used to activate the hydrogen peroxide gel to form free oxygen radicals which bleach any discolouration as it enters the topmost layer of your tooth structure known as enamel.
The single-session procedure usually takes 60 to 90 minutes to complete and lasts upwards of 6 months. It yields the most noticeable results amongst teeth whitening methods due to its higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide.