If you’re like most people, you understand the power of a smile to make anyone’s day better. However, if you’re struggling with discolored teeth, you’re probably understandably reluctant to share your smile as freely as you’d like. Fortunately, strategies exist to combat discolored teeth.
1- Practice Good Dental Hygiene
A good smile starts with good dental hygiene. Be sure to brush and floss your teeth at least twice per day. When you aren’t at home or when brushing is otherwise impractical, rinsing your mouth out with water helps prevent stain-causing substances from sticking to the teeth.
2- Use Whitening Toothpaste
From simple baking soda solutions for mild stains to over-the-counter products containing small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, brushing with a whitening toothpaste or using whitening strips provides convenient ways to brighten your smile at home.
3- Avoid Tobacco Products
Tobacco products contain substances known as tar and nicotine, which can cause substantial stains on tooth enamel over a period of time. Ranging between dark yellow and brown, stains produced by nicotine can be particularly unsightly.
4- Limit Food and Beverages That Can Stain
Red wine, coffee, dark fruit such as berries and cherries, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, soda, and dark chocolate are just of few of the culprits that can cause stains on your teeth. However, it isn’t only foods and beverages with high pigmentation levels that create stains on teeth — citrus, for instance, contains substantial amounts of acid that can erode tooth enamel, making the surface of the teeth more vulnerable to staining.
5- Drink Through a Straw
Drinking your favorite beverages through a straw eliminates contact with the teeth altogether, allowing you to enjoy them without worrying about staining. Although it may be difficult to get used to drinking hot coffee, tea, or red wine through a straw at first, it will become second nature after you get used to it. As an added bonus, you’ll get other dental health benefits, such as reducing the risk of enamel erosion or tooth decay.
6- Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
When brushing isn’t an option, eating something crunchy helps remove stain-causing food particles and bacteria from the surface of your teeth. Apples, carrots, and celery are not only excellent choices, but they also pack a powerful nutritional punch.
7- Get Regular Professional Cleanings
During a professional cleaning, the dental technician uses specialized instruments to remove plaque and tartar buildup as well as surface stains. Most dental patients should schedule a professional cleaning every six months. During this time, your dentist will also check for potential emerging oral health issues — keep in mind that early detection is key when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
8- Get Professional Teeth Whitening
Some dental patients require professional whitening for their smile to be at its best. In-office options include laser applications, professional-grade whitening gels, and the application of potent bleaching agents. Your dentist will be able to help you decide which approach is right for you.
Maintaining a bright, attractive smile involves a customized, multitiered approach, so don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for suggestions and advice.