Over time, our teeth go through a lot. Even if you always brush and floss your teeth daily, certain foods, drinks, and lifestyle habits can lead to discoloration and staining of the teeth. It’s not uncommon to have yellowish or brown stains on your teeth after a while, especially if you drink a lot of coffee or tea or are a smoker.
But, there’s no need to live with stained teeth and smile with your mouth closed for the rest of your life. We’ve listed some of the best ways to get rid of stains and get a healthy, gleaming white smile.
Tip #1. Go to the Dentist
When it comes to removing tooth stains and restoring your smile to a row of gleaming white teeth, there’s nobody better qualified to do it than a good cosmetic dentist. In many cases, teeth that have a lot of stain build-up can easily be rectified with a simple scale and polish from your dental hygienist. Even stubborn stains that have been around for years can now be removed in around half an hour with a professional scaling treatment.
Even if the discoloration on your teeth is due to something more serious, your dentist will be able to recommend the best course of action to take to restore your teeth back to the best health and appearance. In most cases, visiting your dentist to remove stains is a quicker and more cost-effective alternative to trying to do it yourself at home.
Tip #2. Preventing Tooth Staining
Once you have been to the dentist and had all the stains scrubbed off from your teeth, you will want to keep them as white as possible for as long as you can. Ensuring good maintenance at home in between dental cleaning procedures will mean that when you do go to the dentist, there’ll be less chance that you’ll need an intensive scale and polish treatment. If you look after your teeth very well, then you’ll be able to reduce the number of appointments with your hygienist per year.
The best way to avoid stained teeth is to avoid the foods and beverages which cause them, such as coffee, tea, red wine and gravy. In addition, thin enamel can also lead to a yellowish color on the teeth. To avoid this, you should cut down on eating or drinking foods with a high acid content.
Tip #3. At-Home Whitening Products
Getting your teeth cleaned, whitened, or both by your dentist can be expensive. So, you may need to use at-home whitening products in between appointments to make sure that your teeth remain as white as possible. Today, there are thousands of different DIY tooth whitening products available, all promising to be the best thing that’s ever happened to your teeth.
For the best results, you should always use whitening toothpaste, strips or gel that has been recommended to you by your dentist. Products that aren’t approved by dentists can be ineffective, or even dangerous for your teeth over time. Always be sure to follow the instructions carefully when using at-home whitening products on your teeth.
Tip #4. Improving Your Dental Hygiene Routine
If your teeth are not very badly stained, simply improving your dental hygiene routine will likely be able to help. For example, making sure that you also floss your teeth after brushing will help you remove any food, plaque or bacteria that has become lodged between your teeth in a way that’s difficult for your toothbrush alone to deal with.
In addition, practicing better dental hygiene also means that your teeth and tooth enamel will be healthier. In turn, your teeth will look much better.
Tip #5. Natural Home Remedies
You may want to consider using some natural home remedies to improve the appearance of your teeth. For example, coconut oil has a myriad of health uses, including tooth whitening. Using coconut oil for your teeth is known as ‘pulling’ and involves simply swishing the oil around in your mouth for a few minutes at a time.
Alternatively, you may want to consider other home remedies, for example using a baking soda paste to scrub stains from the surface of your teeth. However, you should not use this remedy regularly, since it is abrasive enough to remove some enamel from your teeth which can lead to further problems in future. Speak to your dentist if you are unsure about home cleaning and whitening remedies for your teeth.
Tip #6. Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Whilst whitening toothpastes, dental hygienist procedures and other home remedies can all be effective for removing stains from your teeth, the main thing that you will need to consider is how your lifestyle and habits contribute.
For example, if you are a smoker, you are much more likely to have stained teeth than non-smokers. In this case, quitting will most certainly help you maintain clean and white teeth. But, it’s not just smoking that stains your teeth – if you drink a lot of coffee, tea or dark colored soda such as Coca-Cola, this will also have an effect. Cutting down your consumption of these products is one of the best ways to prevent yellowing teeth.
Tip #7. Look After Your Enamel
Most of the time, a yellow color on the teeth is caused by surface stains, which can be scrubbed off easily by your dentist or by using an at-home product or natural remedy. However, in other cases, a hint of yellow on your teeth can be caused by exposed dentin underneath, which occurs when your tooth enamel starts to wear away.
One of the biggest causes of enamel erosion is the consumption of acidic or sugary foods and drinks, for example candy, fizzy soda, or energy drinks. Consuming these highly acidic and sugary liquids will lead to the weakening of your tooth enamel. When you brush your teeth afterwards, the enamel will come away, leaving a yellowish color and increased tooth sensitivity. To avoid this, you should only drink acidic beverages as part of a main meal and wait a while before brushing your teeth after drinking. As an alternative, you may want to chew dental gum until it’s safe to brush.
Tip #8. Restorative Dental Procedures
In some cases, discolored teeth that are a result of more than just surface stains will need to be repaired by your dentist. Today, there are many different dental products that you may be given to restore your smile back to its best.
For example, your dentist may fit veneers or crowns over teeth that have become discolored due to decay; this will cover up any damaged enamel on your teeth and restore them to a normal, healthy look and function.
Tip #9. Drink Plenty of Water
It’s a simple step, but it is very effective. Drinking enough water throughout the day has a huge range of health benefits, and that’s not just for your teeth – your skin, hair, weight and overall energy can also be improved when you drink the recommended amount of around 8-10 glasses of water per day.
When you drink water, swish it around your mouth – this will help to dislodge any food that has become stuck between your teeth and avoid a build-up of bacteria leading to stains.
Tip #10. Eat Your Greens
Whilst some food products are terrible for your teeth, others are very helpful for improving the health and appearance of your smile. Cruciferous vegetables are very effective for boosting dental health and improving the appearance of your smile.
Some of the best vegetables to eat for a brighter smile include cauliflower, celery, broccoli, onions and garlic, basil, and carrots. In addition, you can also eat fruits such as strawberries, oranges, and pineapple to help brighten your smile. Strawberries contain vitamin C, which can aid in removing plaque, and malic acid, a natural bleaching agent.
Tip #11. Get More Calcium
Getting the right amount of calcium in your diet is not only important for your teeth, but also for the rest of your body, especially your bones. Calcium is a necessary mineral for keeping your teeth healthy and strong, and you can find it mainly in dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, and cheese.
Alternatively, if you do not eat dairy products, you can find calcium in a range of other foods. These include vegetables such as broccoli and kale, edamame beans, and bok choy. Figs, oranges, sardines, salmon, tofu and white beans are also high in calcium.
Tip #12. Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Lastly, hydrogen peroxide can be used with care to whiten your teeth. For safe results, use a 3% solution, which has been given the go-ahead by the American Dental Association and is unlikely to cause sensitivity.
However, if you are unsure about using hydrogen peroxide or currently suffer from sensitive teeth, it’s important to consult with your dentist before using this product for whitening.
Over time, it’s not unusual for our teeth to become stained and discolored. Thankfully, there are many ways to restore your teeth to their former glory and prevent future stains from reappearing.