Various studies indicate that smiling boosts confidence and offers health benefits. For people who are critical or self-conscious of their teeth, however, smiling may not come so easily. Tooth staining is one common cause of dissatisfaction that most people worry about at some point. Fortunately, with the following three tips, stopping staining is easier than many people realize.
1. Limit These Seemingly Innocent Substances
Most people know that coffee, black tea, and wine cause staining. However, these are not the only substances to avoid if you want to keep your smile bright. Sports drinks, energy drinks, and other carbonated drinks are highly acidic, so they can cause tooth enamel erosion. Berries and berry-based fruit juices often are acidic and highly pigmented, which are both factors that raise the risk of staining. Sauces with dark colors, such as soy sauce, can also cause discoloration.
2. Minimize Damage from Staining Substances
If you are like most people and don’t want to give up these drinks and foods entirely, you don’t have to resign yourself to a less-than-dazzling smile. When consuming substances that cause stains, try doing the following:
- Swallow drinks quickly instead of letting them linger in your mouth.
- Use a straw to keep drinks away from your front teeth, where staining is most obvious.
- Use water to rinse your mouth after finishing one of these drinks or foods.
- When possible, brush your teeth or chew sugarless gum after rinsing.
- Instead of sipping on drinks throughout the day, finish one, rinse or brush, and take a break before starting the next.
These changes are small and simple, but they can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your smile. Of course, when these methods aren’t enough, we offer numerous options for restoring your usual bright smile.
3. Try Professional Teeth Whitening
At Desired Smiles, patients can choose from two types of whitening treatments. In-office whitening is performed in one session and can brighten teeth by as much as eight shades. As an alternative, we provide at-home whitening kits with custom trays to hold the whitening gel against your teeth. These kits produce results in just two to three weeks. For patients whose teeth are chipped or cracked in addition to being stained, we also offer options like bonding.
We are always ready to discuss the teeth whitening options best suited for you during your next dental visit. Of course, regular dental visits help prevent staining from occurring in the first place, since patients receive a professional cleaning and advice regarding diet and oral hygiene. This is just one more reason to schedule your next dental visit sooner than later if you are concerned about the appearance of your smile.