Preventing and Reducing Tooth Stains
There are a lot of things that can lead to tooth stains. By following the recommendation in this article you can easily prevent and reduce tooth stains.
Dark colas, coffee, teas, cigarette smoke, and highly dyed foods can take a cosmetic toll on your teeth. Teeth aren’t meant to be perfectly white. As a matter of fact, teeth naturally have a light yellow hue. As people age, their teeth tend to get darker. Due to natural wear and tear, a tooth’s enamel will weaken and small cracks will begin to form in the teeth. This makes the teeth more susceptible to staining.
Stains also tend to hang onto plaque and tartar that builds up on the gumline and in between teeth. This will make stains more apparent on the teeth, but luckily these types of stains typically come off with a deep cleaning.
Dr. Jamie Laviola understands that stained teeth can have a huge impact on one’s self esteem. If you are looking for a long lasting way to whiten your teeth quickly and safely, visit our website for a consultation today.
Teeth can stain brown or yellow. The more yellow staining is, the easier it is to remove. However, removing brown stains typically tends to be more difficult.
Maintaining White Teeth
Dental staining can be removed with a thorough cleaning done in a dental’s office. However, there are many ways people can reduce the risk of dental staining at home.
Brushing Your Teeth Often
Cleaning your teeth regularly and thoroughly is a great way to remove stains before they worsen. Many people choose to brush twice a day, but if your teeth are susceptible to stains, it might be wise to brush after every meal.
It’s important to remember to brush in circular motions, as opposed to side-to-side and up-and-down, to avoid gum recession.
Some people often opt to utilize an electric toothbrush, saying that it makes them brush their teeth more often than if they were to use a manual toothbrush.
Additionally, using mouthwash that has an antibacterial property will be beneficial to those who struggle with tooth staining. That being said, just about any mouthwash on the market is fine for rinsing extra food and debris from between the teeth.
Cutting Back on Stain Causers
Cola, coffee, teas, smoke, and highly pigmented foods can all cause staining on the teeth.
Many people who smoke cigarettes struggle with stained teeth and dental decay, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Not to mention, smoking cigarettes can also lead to gum disease. Dental health is one of the main reasons that smokers choose to quit using cigarettes.
Additionally, those who frequently drink coffee, dark sodas, and teas experience more tooth staining than those who do not.
For those who indulge in caffeinated beverages, dentists recommend using a straw so that the staining beverages have less contact with the teeth. This will eliminate most of the staining associated with drinking dark beverages.
Some dentists also note that chasing staining beverages with crunchy foods – such as celery or apples – can help eliminate staining. These foods have an abrasive quality on the teeth and have mild acidity. The difference may not be noticeable, but it will help prevent and reduce tooth stains over time.
Using At-Home Bleaching Products
At just about any store that sells dental-related products, people can buy whitening kits over the counter.
The whitening kits available for purchase over-the-counter typically have a similar appearance to packing tape. Depending on the brand, the strips are meant to be applied to the teeth for between 20 minutes to an hour. The bleaching components in the strips will whiten the teeth over time.
Typically, people have to use these types of whitening strips a few times before noticing a significant difference.
A more effective alternative is to get a whitening kit from your dental office. A dentist will fit you with a whitening tray and give you a bleaching formula that you can use at home. Depending on the instructions from your dentist, a patient can use their bleaching kit up to once a day.
This treatment typically costs between $400-$600, and patients notice a significant difference within one to two weeks of use.
Some stores also sell these bleaching trays over-the-counter. However, there is a big downfall with these kits. The one-size-fits-all tray will not fit perfectly over the teeth, thus not allowing the bleach to reach all of the stains on the teeth. Additionally, if dental bleach were to sit on the gums for an extended period of time, it could cause irritation and recession.
Whitening in One Visit
For those who would like their teeth to be whitened for an upcoming event, such as a wedding or vacation, they can choose to have their dental bleaching done in one session.
Teeth can be bleached in a one to two hour visit. The dentist will apply a concentrated peroxide solution and then utilize a blue light that will help “power” the bleach into the dentin. The teeth will be significantly lightened within one to two hours.
There are two downfalls to this type of treatment: the cost and comfort.
One-visit dental bleaching costs between $500 to $800. Additionally, it can cause some discomfort, especially for those with sensitive teeth.
DIY Whitening To Reduce Tooth Stains
A quick Google search for “DIY tooth whitening” will produce dozens of results.
People are always trying to find ways to whiten their teeth at home, quickly and inexpensively.
There are a plethora of ways to whiten your teeth at home, but many dentists call their effectiveness and safety into question.
The following is a list of DIY whitening tips found online and an analysis of their whitening abilities:
Some sources online say that sucking on a fresh lemon is an effective way to whiten your teeth.
However, dentists say this is a terrible idea. While the acidity might whiten teeth over time, the difference would not be noticeable – and the harsh acidity will certainly wear down the tooth’s enamel over time. This may even make the teeth darker, according to dentists, as the darker layers under the enamel become exposed.
Strawberries and baking soda
Another online source says that using mashed strawberries mixed with baking soda to brush teeth will whiten them. However, dentists say this is untrue. Plain baking soda is better for whitening teeth – but dentists only recommend using it once a week, as it can be very abrasive.
Plenty of studies have been done to prove that turmeric powder is good for you internally. However, there is no research to prove that it has any tooth whitening properties. For this reason, dentists offer to stick to whitening techniques that have been proven effective.
Other Tricks to Reduce and Prevent Tooth Stains
Before taking any action to remove tooth stains, even with over-the-counter products, it’s recommended to have a checkup done at a dentist first. Dentists will check for cracks in the teeth, cavities, and any other issues that can lead to increased sensitivity. It is not a good idea to utilize any tooth bleaching products unless your teeth are deemed healthy by a dentist.
Many whitening toothpastes are not actually very effective. It may take months of daily use for the teeth to change shades, and the difference may not even be noticeable.
The most effective and safest way to whiten your teeth is with a whitening kit provided by a dentist. The dentist can first, and most importantly, decide if a bleaching treatment is safe for your teeth. From then, the dentist will mold a mouth guard that fits your teeth perfectly. The whitening gel can be applied at home.
With at-home whitening treatment, you have the capability to use the treatment until you are satisfied with the shade of your teeth. Additionally, if you would like a touch-up after treatment, you can buy more gel from your dentist’s office.
Stains on the teeth are more often than not a result of poor oral hygiene. Additionally, smoking cigarettes and consuming pigmented food and drinks can stain teeth as well. Less often, staining on the teeth can be a symptom of a medical condition or side effects from medication.
If staining on teeth is accompanied by other symptoms and is not responding to whitening treatments, a person should seek medical attention. If you have staining on your teeth and you are unsure of the cause, you should speak with a dentist or doctor.
Most of the time, stains on the outside of the tooth can be removed and are very easy to prevent. That being said, stained teeth can have a big impact on one’s self esteem.
Some of the home remedies listed in this article are an effective way to prevent and reduce tooth stains, but the quickest and safest way to have teeth whitened is under the care of a dentist.
If you’re looking for a great cosmetic dentist in Mclean, VA, visit Dr. Laviola’s website here for a consultation. With attentive, thorough, and long lasting care, we want to help you get your smile sparkling again.