Q: I suddenly have seen that my teeth are no longer as white as they used to and I am concerned. What can I do to prevent it from getting worse and to just deal with these stains that are spoiling my smile?
A: Let’s face it: our teeth get darker as we age. Apart from this, there a number of things that cause staining, including a list of foods that cause staining.
Here are the things that you need to do to halt the staining process:
Whether you smoke or chew it, tobacco will stain your teeth dark yellow to brown. In addition, when you quit smoking, you would also save yourself from a lot of health issues and prolong your life.
Have you suddenly become a coffee addict or a regular night time red wine drinker? Then you may want to reduce your consumption. You don’t have to guzzle several cups of coffee daily when you can manage with one or two.
Use a straw whenever you can. Take bitters straight in a gulp. Do not swish any staining liquid in your mouth. Apart from these, you should not keeping sipping coffee or chewing on kolanuts all day: restricting the time periods that you take these staining foods would go a long way.
When you add milk to tea, the milk protein (casein) binds to the staining element (tannin) in tea or coffee. This helps to reduce the staining ability of your beverage. Apologies to those who like it black!
After taking the staining substances, you should rinse vigorously with water in order to displace as much as you can from the surfaces of your teeth. You’d be amazed as how much this simple tip can help, even reducing your risk of many other teeth and gum issues.
When you eat cheese; fruits like apple and carrots; nuts like almonds, you basically help clean the surfaces of your teeth.
Twice a day brushing helps get rid of plaque, which is what helps to hold the stains on your teeth. However, you must not brush immediately after having these substances as many of them contain alcohol or acidic that can erode your teeth and the added mechanical force of brushing can cause issues. Find out other tooth-brushing sins here.
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at your dentist’s office at least once or twice in a year. This would do a great job at removing those stains that get to stay on your teeth. It is also important as part of your oral hygiene plan.
Your dentist would be able to determine if you are a suitable candidate for having your teeth whitened. This process involves placing some chemical on your teeth and shining a light in order to accelerate the bleaching process. You can get up to a few shades lighter than your natural look with a few visits and by following some instructions. We have all the information you need on teeth whitening here.
Getting a complete set of veneers to cover your front teeth is a perfect way to get that Hollywood smile effect. Your dentist can get this done for you…even in just one visit.
Everyone is bound to get stains but there are a number of things that you can do to reduce your chances of stained teeth.
If you have any concerns about the colour of your teeth or just about anything dental, then get expert advice and treatment at Nene Dental Centre in Ikeja or in any of our Abuja branches.
Dr. Olatunde Asagba is an alumna of the dental school at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is passionate about public health issues and is actively involved in expanding healthcare access through telemedicine.