We all know what happens when something white comes into contact with something that stains (think white clothes and mud!) The same applies to your teeth, and whilst you might not notice immediate staining after eating and drinking staining food and drink once or twice, trust us when we say that repeatedly doing so will yellow and darken your teeth.
Throw poor brushing technique and missed hygienist appointments into the mix, and you’re on your way to an unhealthy-looking smile, and perhaps even a lapse in your confidence.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some incredibly simple tips that will ensure your teeth stay white (as long as you employ them consistently!).
Let’s start with the most obvious point – limiting food and drink that stains your teeth… will reduce how stained your teeth become! Some of the most obvious teeth staining food and drink include:
– Red wine: the tannins in red wine give it that unmistakably delicious astringency. Unfortunately, this is its downfall, as it’s these that help the pigment attach to your teeth and cause discolouration.
– Curry: the deep pigmentation in curries and spices (turmeric in particular) is highly tooth staining. Popping some raw spinach on top of your curry can help to combat these stains, as spinach releases water which can stimulate the flow of saliva.
– Balsamic vinegar: there’s a double whammy with balsamic vinegar, which isn’t just staining due to its dark hues, its sticky consistency and high-sugar content make it an enemy to your teeth. The same can be said of condiments like soy sauce.
– Tea and coffee: also containing tannins, tea and coffee (particularly black tea and coffee) stain teeth. If you’re a tea or coffee fiend, try to add a splash of milk to minimise the damage to your tooth enamel.
Water is your teeth’s best friend (with the exception of when you brush, but we’ll come onto that later!).
Every time you eat, the bacteria in your mouth will have a field day, turning sugar from your food into acids, which can then go on to cause enamel wear and cavities. To minimise this acid attack in your mouth, drink a glass of water after each meal and each snack. Not only will this rinse away the acids, but it also stimulates the flow of saliva, making it more effective at doing its job of rinsing away leftover food particles.
Back to the issue of drinking water around the time, you brush your teeth. One of the things our patients often ask us, is whether they ought to be rinsing their mouths or drinking a glass of water after brushing. Here’s the answer..
Mouth rinses remove the all-important fluoride in your toothpaste, preventing it from working its magic on your pearly whites. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria on your teeth create. According to the Oral Health Foundation, fluoride has been proven to reduce decay by as much as 40-60%.
Switching your manual toothbrush in for an electric version will significantly improve your oral health routine, as proven by an 11 year study, which found that those using an electric toothbrush had healthier gums, less decay and retained their natural teeth for longer than individuals with manual brushes.
Some of the advantages of electric toothbrushes include:
Oscillating heads: the electric heads that move in both directions are more capable of removing plaque from your tooth surfaces.
Gentle action: there’s no need to move your brush from side to side, significantly reducing the possibility of gum recession, which can occur when you brush too hard with a manual, hard-bristled brush.
You’ll know if you’re brushing too hard: electric toothbrushes are fitted with technology that lets you know if you’re brushing too hard. Specific apps can also be calibrated with the brush to help you brush more efficiently.
Whilst it’s true that a professional clean with the hygienist won’t whiten your teeth, it will get rid of plaque and staining that’s occurred as a result of smoking or chewing tobacco. Not only is plaque bad for your oral health, it doesn’t look great on your teeth. Your hygienist here at Innovadent will remove these solid plaque deposits using special instruments, leaving you with a more aesthetically pleasing, stain-free smile.
If you’re keen to give your tooth shade a more comprehensive makeover, we recommend teeth whitening treatment. Here at Innovdent, we offer two renowned teeth whitening systems: instantaneous in-office whitening from Phillips Zoom and an at-home whitening course with Boutique Whitening. Reversing tooth discoloration is one of the best things you can do for your confidence as well as for improving stained teeth. Professional whitening uses safe levels of hydrogen peroxide (unlike online whitening kits which often contain a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide unsafe for your teeth) and is suitable for patients with sensitive teeth.
Get the most out of your professional tooth cleanings by opting for the supplementary Airflow® tooth polishing method. This gentle application of fine powder particles, compressed air and water can blast away the food particles and bacteria that are lingering in-between your teeth. We highly recommend Airflow if it’s been a while since you last came in for a hygienist appointment, as it can give you a fresh start with your oral health and oral health routine.
Not all food will stain your teeth! In fact, fibrous and crunchy veg such as celery and spinach can actually help to scrub your teeth. They’re also packed in water, which is released when you bite into them, helping to cleanse your mouth.
If you’ve not yet booked yourself in for a post-Christmas professional clean, or you’re interested in treatment to whiten teeth and remove tooth stains, contact us here at Innovadent. What better way to kick off 2023 than with a healthy, plaque-free and stain-free mouth?Back to Blog
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