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Posted on: June 14, 2021
Reasons and Remedies for Tooth Discoloration
Do you smile less frequently because you have stained and discolored teeth and you’re ashamed to show them? Regain your smile and your self-confidence with these tips to whiten and brighten your smile.
How Do My Teeth Get Stained and Discolored?
Many factors contribute to stained and discolored teeth, and not all of them can be controlled. Genetics play a role, as do lifestyle habits and choices. Medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can contribute to discolored and dingy teeth, and some foods and beverages can discolor your teeth. The aging process and lack of proper dental care can cause discoloration, as can the well-known culprit of tobacco use. When you don’t have good oral hygiene habits and don’t get dental care when you need it, the white enamel can erode and leave you with teeth that appear darker.
Does My Lifestyle Contribute to My Discolored Teeth?
Although there are many foods and beverages that give us enjoyment, they can also give us discolored or stained teeth. Everyone knows that dark-colored beverages such as coffee, tea, wine, and colas can stain teeth. But, some other foods and drinks also contribute to darker-colored teeth, such as:
- Sugary beverages: Fruit juices, sports drinks, sugared sodas – even if they aren’t colas – and sweet tea are rife with acids and sugars that erode the white enamel on your teeth and make them appear darker.
- Carbohydrate-laden foods: Although they’re tasty, foods that are high in starch, like white bread and pastries, white potatoes, white rice, cereal, and pasta, quickly turn into sugar when they enter your system, and they contribute to the destruction of your tooth enamel.
- Junk food: Gum and candy are popular snacks that are almost completely sugar that attacks your tooth enamel and causes your teeth to become dingy.
Limiting the presence of these items in your daily diet can help you avoid the onset of discolored and dingy teeth.
Which Foods Prevent Tooth Discoloration?
Many foods and beverages can help you fight tooth discoloration. Adding the following to your diet may help you have whiter teeth and a brighter smile:
- Plain water: Although it’s about the most boring substance on the planet, plain water is one of the best substances for your body, which is comprised of about 60 percent water. It helps to flush toxins from the body as well as hidden food particles that remain after you eat. It also helps to flush the sugars and acids from your mouth after you eat.
- Sugar-free beverages: If you absolutely cannot swallow plain water, then sugar-free beverages are better than no liquid at all. Just be sure you rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking them because they can contain acids and other substances that will damage your tooth enamel.
- Dairy products: Although it’s trendy to eat and drink non-dairy foods and beverages, dairy products contain protein and calcium that are good for your teeth. They also neutralize the acids in many foods and beverages, which protects your tooth enamel from eroding.
- Cocoa: Although not typically considered a tooth-friendly beverage, cocoa is anti-inflammatory and can protect your tooth enamel from eroding. This applies to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, chocolate syrup, or white chocolate. Usually, the higher the sugar content, the lower the benefit.
- Flax seeds and fish: Both of these foods are high in omega-3 oils that can help fight inflammation and periodontal disease. Be sure to get enough omega-6 oils to make them effective, however.
Which Type of Smoking Will Discolor My Teeth?
Unfortunately for smokers, all types of tobacco will discolor your teeth, and it doesn’t matter how you use it. Smoking, vaping, dipping, chewing, or any other method of tobacco use will discolor your teeth.
Which Types of Tobacco Won’t Discolor My Teeth?
There is no form of tobacco and no method of using it that won’t result in tooth discoloration. However, there are ways to lessen its effects that will make your teeth somewhat whiter. Just be aware that if you smoke, your teeth will never be as white as those of a non-smoker.
Can I Keep Smoking and Still Have Whiter Teeth?
If you still choose to smoke despite all its deleterious side effects, but you want whiter teeth, then try the following tips to increase the whiteness of your smile:
- After you smoke or eat, brush your teeth without fail. This will remove some of the residues that darken your teeth.
- Brush and floss according to the American Dental Association guidelines of at least twice each day, especially just before bedtime.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least once each day.
Get professional cleanings at least twice each year.
- Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet that includes raw, crunchy vegetables.
With dedication and effort, you can maintain a whiter smile even if you opt to use tobacco products.
What Can I Do to Eliminate Discolored Teeth?
If your smile is suffering because of discolored teeth, you can correct the problem with a few simple steps, including:
- Brush and floss after each snack or meal. This removes food particles that can cause decay, and it also removes sugars and acids that can contribute to dingy teeth.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with plain water each time you consume a dark-colored beverage.
- Maintain your dental health. If you need dental work, get it promptly so that decay and inflammation don’t erode your enamel and make your teeth appear darker than they are.
- Schedule professional checkups and cleanings at least once each year. This will help remove deeper stains and eliminate small issues before they become larger issues.
Ask your dentist to recommend the best daily hygiene regimen for your unique needs.
Which Lifestyle Changes Will Prevent Discolored Teeth?
The best lifestyle regimen to maintain white teeth involves the following:
- Maintain good oral hygiene at home by brushing and flossing at least twice each day, especially just before bedtime. Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Use an at-home teeth whitening kit but be aware that if you have crowns or veneers, they may not whiten the same as your natural teeth.
- Use a whitening toothpaste.
- Get a professional tooth-whitening treatment from your dentist. Professional treatments are faster and more effective than at-home kits, and some dentists may provide you with at-home kits that use the same products they use.
- Get dental crowns or veneers when needed.
Talk to your dentist about your goals and ask which is the best way for you to meet them.