Unless you have taken meticulous care of your teeth from day one, you probably have some noticeable staining. Some of the discoloration you’re seeing may just be the natural results of aging. As we get older, the enamel protecting your teeth begins to thin. It becomes increasingly transparent, which allows the yellower dentin beneath to become more visible. However, a lot of it comes down to our daily habits.
The Foods You Eat
Any food with strong natural dyes can potentially stain your teeth. Berries, with their rich pigments, and the curry/turmeric in many curries are just a couple of the foods that are likely to stain your teeth. As an easy rule, if it stains your cutting board or your fingers, you should brush your teeth afterward.
It can be difficult to brush your teeth after enjoying a handful of blackberries during your break, but you can easily fix the issue by keeping a travel toothbrush and toothpaste at your desk. Just make sure your toothbrush’s case is well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
The Liquids You Drink
Although there are a number of foods capable of staining your teeth, liquids tend to be the most common culprit. We live in a country where coffee, tea, dark sodas, or red wine feature into our diet at least once a day. Over a period of years, consuming these products without appropriate care can lead to serious staining that isn’t about to be removed with a couple of over-the-counter whitening strips.
However, unlike the foods discussed above, it is usually not best to brush immediately. Many of these liquids, including coffee and red wine, are highly acidic. Drinking them temporarily softens your enamel, and immediately brushing could actually harm that delicate coating. Rather, experts suggest waiting thirty minutes and then brushing your teeth.
If you are out, and you don’t have a toothbrush handy, then there are several foods you can use to follow-up stain heavy food and drink. Apples, pears, celery, carrots, cauliflower, and cucumbers can all help to naturally clean your teeth and prevent stains from taking hold. You will still want to brush your teeth when you get home, but eating one of these “follow-up” foods is a great way to reduce the harm of stains.
Handling Set Stains
If you are looking to fix the damage caused by years of repetitive staining, then you will need professional assistance. Most over-the-counter whitening products can only whiten your teeth a couple of shades with mixed results. So it is best to speak with your dentist before attempting to use whitening strips or trays at home.
When you speak with your dentist, don’t be surprised if they suggest an in-office treatment. Professional treatments can achieve results that leave your teeth five to eight shades whiter in many cases. Additionally, your dentist will be able to help you choose the treatment that is right for you. It is based on the uniformity of the discoloration and the shape of your smile.
Whitening From the Pros
At OC Dental Specialists, the Sinsational teeth whitening system is an office favorite. With great results and an environmentally friendly label, Sinsational allows patients to achieve effective results in a very short, 20-minute office visit. As with all whitening regimens, you should discuss any possible health conditions or the possibility of pregnancy before receiving treatment to ensure the safety of the procedure.
For more information on Sinsational and other professional whitening procedures, contact your the top dentist in Irvine and schedule a consultation to discuss your smile goals. Staining your teeth with foods and drinks need not be permanent.