When someone smiles at you, what’s the first thing you notice? Is it how their warm smile makes you feel? When you look at your own smile, you might notice something else. Perhaps you fixate on any stains or discolouration that may be on your teeth.
Anything from the foods you eat to the medications you take can affect the brightness of your smile. Looking for ways to keep your smile bright, despite all the things that can stain it? Take note of these teeth-whitening tips:
What Causes Stained Teeth?
First, we’re going to look at the main culprits behind a stained smile:
- Worn enamel. The outermost layer of your tooth is naturally white. But if it wears away (due to decay, abrasion, or other damage), it can reveal the layer of dentin underneath. Dentin is darker than enamel; it’s a dull yellow colour.
- Stains. The pigments found in certain foods and drinks can change the colour of your teeth.
- Medications. It’s strange to think that taking a pill can stain your teeth. But medications such as antibiotics (tetracycline), antihistamines, and anti-hypertension medication can affect the luminosity of your smile.
How To Keep Your Smile Bright
Now that you know why smiles get stained, what can you do to protect your teeth? It’s easier to prevent stains than to correct them after they’ve appeared. Make note of these tips to avoid discoloured teeth:
Adjust your diet
Certain drinks are worse for your teeth than others. Here are a few that you should try to avoid:
- Soda. These acidic beverages wear away tooth enamel. Dark soda contains colouring that can cause stains.
- Coffee & tea. These popular drinks contain tannins, a compound that causes sugars and carbohydrates to stick to your teeth. Reduce the staining effects of tannins by adding a splash of cream or milk to your beverage.
- Red wine. When you drink red wine, it often leaves a stain on your lips and tongue. The same thing can happen to your teeth. The strong pigment in wine and acidic content causes tooth discolouration.
If you consume any of these drinks, try to rinse your mouth afterward. Here’s our advice: Make water your drink of choice. The water will help remove the acid and staining pigments from your teeth.
You’ve probably heard this already, but it bears repeating. The smoke from cigarettes causes teeth to turn yellow or brown. If you’re looking for another reason to give up smoking, think about your oral health.
Be wary of drugstore products that claim to whiten your teeth. They may contain abrasive agents that can wear away your enamel.
Take charcoal toothpaste, for example. These products skyrocketed to popularity but were later found to be too abrasive on the teeth. Drugstore whitening strips may leak bleach onto your gums, which can damage the tissue.
Visit the dentist
In some cases, the colour of your teeth has little to do with what you eat or drink. It may be due to damaged teeth. Luckily, there are dental procedures that can help you conceal discolouration.
One of the best ways to preserve your smile is to visit Winnipeg dental offices. At East Kildonan Dental, we offer regular cleanings along with cosmetic procedures (including teeth whitening, veneers, and crowns). To book your appointment, contact us today!