Let’s face it – most of us like having white teeth. Not the blindingly white variety that many US celebrities favour, just pleasantly pearly. Yellow, stained teeth are perceived as unattractive and can generate negative impressions.
But sometimes, even with brushing and flossing two or three times a day, you can still end up with a distinct shade of dingy beige. So, whatâ€™s causing the staining and what can you do to prevent it?
Apart from smoking being terrible for your health (including the increased risk of mouth cancer), the tar and other ingredients in the smoke stain your teeth. Rather than recommending you use a particular toothpaste, it would be best if you could stop smoking altogether. Itâ€™s not easy, but the NHS offers some helpful advice here. Some people find hypnotherapy and meditation help. Red wine, tea, and coffee If you drink a lot of coffee or tea (even fruit tea) throughout the day to keep you going, then unwind with a few glasses of red wine in the evening, itâ€™s hardly surprising your teeth are stained. The acid in these drinks do more than stain; it eats away your tooth enamel. If enough enamel is eroded, the yellow dentine underneath will show through and bleaching your teeth wonâ€™t help. To limit the damage these tannins can do, rinse your mouth out as soon as you can after having tea, coffee, and red wine, plus consider drinking your cabernet sauvignon through a straw. And although white wine wonâ€™t directly stain your teeth, the acid can still harm your enamel if you drink too much.
Every dentist says sugar isnâ€™t good for your teeth â€“ but thereâ€™s good reason for that! The sugar in sweets, cake and even fruit juice is bad enough, but the real damage is done by the bacteria that loves to feed on the sugary residue left on your teeth. The bacteria releases acid that eats away your enamel, allowing staining, decay, and that lovely yellow dentine to show through. You donâ€™t have to give up your biscuits and pop â€“ just moderate your intake and remember to brush. Incidentally, anything carbonated is acidic, so even sugar-free pop can damage your teeth if you drink enough of it.
Using a toothpaste designed to whiten your teeth can help but be careful not to use one that has harmful abrasives, as they can remove enamel as well as stains. If you brush your teeth as recommended by your dentist, you should only need to use a whitening toothpaste once or twice a week. Bicarbonate of soda has gained popularity as a natural whitening substance, however baking soda is abrasive, so using it to brush your teeth is not recommended.
Teeth Whitening Treatment
If your teeth are badly stained, there are different treatments available at your dental practice to whiten your teeth. You can have bespoke teeth trays made to use at home with a whitening gel containing peroxide. The beauty of the trays is that you can bleach your teeth in the comfort of your own home whenever you feel itâ€™s necessary.