If you’re someone who struggles with tooth discolouration, you’ll know the pain of having a gorgeous smile ruined with yellowish or brownish stains.
To avoid this, here are the top things avoid that could potentially cause discolouration of your teeth.
Causes of Tooth Discolouration
- Acidic Food and Beverages
Certain dietary habits can cause tooth discolouration, so it’s important to be aware of what you’re consuming. Some beverages, like soft drinks and tea, contain tannins – compounds that can lead to staining.
Replacing soda and tea with water or low-sugar juices is a much better option for preserving your smile. Sugary drinks like sports drinks and energy drinks are also high in acidity, which can weaken your enamel and make it more susceptible to discolouration.
Food is another factor in preventing discolouration of teeth; some items that should be avoided or eaten in moderation include:
- Tomato sauce
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dark candies and candy with food colouring
- Soy sauce
Sugary snacks like lollipops, gummy bears, and candy bars all contain high amounts of sugar that can lead to tooth decay and eventual discolouration if not properly cleaned away through brushing or flossing directly afterward.
Smoking and tobacco are two of the biggest causes of teeth discolouration. This is because nicotine and tar stains attach to the enamel, causing what can be irreversible damage in some cases.
Even light smoking or “social” smoking is known to contribute to discolouration of the teeth, so if you are a smoker, it is important to devise a plan for quitting. Smoking has other dangerous health effects beyond just oral health – it can significantly increase your risk for cancer and lung disease.
People who have used smokeless tobacco (also known as chewing tobacco) are also at risk for discolouring their teeth due to nicotine staining.
People who have repeatedly placed smokeless tobacco in their mouths without brushing or flossing soon afterward may develop brown patches on their teeth as well as gum recession. Therefore, it is essential to always brush and floss after using any type of smokeless tobacco product.
In addition to these risks, burn marks on the lips can occur when smokers hold cigarettes too close while they inhale, leading again to tooth discolouration from staining caused by the tar in the cigarette smoke.
- Poor Oral Hygiene
Caring for your teeth and gums is not only important for keeping a beautiful, healthy smile, but also for avoiding discolouration. Poor oral hygiene can cause yellowing or discolouration of the teeth because it allows bacteria to build up in the mouth.
Bacteria create acid, which wears away at the tooth enamel, making it easier for discolouration to occur. Additionally, poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease and receding gums. When this happens, the underlying layer of tooth dentin begins to show through and that is often a yellowish colour.
To avoid this type of discolouration due to poor oral hygiene habits, be sure to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride-containing toothpaste, floss daily, and visit your dentist or hygienist as recommended by your dental professional—usually every 6 months. It is also important to avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits and carbonated beverages as they erode tooth enamel and increase the chances of discolouration.
Remedies for Whitening
Many people with discoloured teeth often ask ‘can discoloured teeth be whitened’. While there may be some cases that are beyond repair, tooth discoloration is a problem that can generally be fixed. Here are some of the most common discoloured teeth treatments.
- Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the oldest home remedies for teeth whitening. It works by gently exfoliating the teeth and removing surface stains.
Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water or lemon juice until it forms a paste. Apply the paste using a soft toothbrush and leave it on your teeth for a couple of minutes before rinsing off with water.
- Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste is one of the most common and accessible remedies for whitening teeth. This kind of toothpaste contains special abrasives that gently polish away stains from the surface of your teeth.
This type of toothpaste doesn’t actually change the colour of your teeth but it can help remove surface stains caused by food, drinks, and smoking. It’s important to note that this type of toothpaste won’t be effective on deep stains or discolouration, though it can be a great way to maintain your pearly whites once they have been professionally whitened.
- Whitening Strips
Another popular remedy for whitening teeth is whitening strips. These thin strips are coated with a peroxide gel that helps break up surface stains and lighten teeth discolouration.
To use them, simply place them on your upper and lower rows of teeth for 30 minutes at a time (as directed). Depending on how stained your teeth are, multiple uses may be necessary before getting results — usually anywhere from 10-14 days depending on the brand and strength used.
- Professional Tooth Whitening
In many situations, visiting a dentist who offers professional tooth whitening services is your best bet. Not only will a dentist be able to restore your teeth to their brightest, but they’ll also be able to address any other dental concerns you may have.
Find a Trusted Dentist in Waterloo
Ultimately, discoloration of teeth is a very common problem that can be prevented with the right approach. Taking small steps like these to guard against discoloration of teeth will make a big difference in your oral health — leading to brighter smiles for everyone!
With that said, just remember that good dental hygiene habits are essential in keeping your pearly whites whiter, brighter, and healthy for years to come.
At ART Dental Clinic, we take pride in providing our clients with excellent dental care. If you’re interested in learning more about our teeth whitening in Waterloo, contact us now at (519) 747-9797!