reduce teeth staining

Teeth naturally become stained as you age, but there are ways to slow the process in your daily routine. Don’t let discoloration get in the way of your pearly white smile. Fight back! Here are simple ways you can reduce teeth staining.

Quit smoking.

When it comes to smoking, tar and nicotine are the culprits that stain your teeth. On its own, nicotine is colorless, it turns yellow when it mixes with oxygen. As you inhale tobacco, the tar and nicotine settle onto your teeth through tiny openings in the enamel. That being said, any discoloration from smoking is on the outermost layer of the tooth, making it possible to remove it.

Look out for these foods.

While you don’t have to avoid these foods, it is helpful to be diligent in brushing and rinsing after consuming foods that are more likely to stain your teeth.

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Dark soda (i.e. cola)
  • Red wine
  • Juices, such as cranberry or grape
  • Blueberries
  • Tomato sauce
  • Beets
  • Soy sauce

Brush and rinse after every meal.

Before the food you eat even gets a chance to stain your teeth, brush and/or rinse after you’ve had your meal. Be sure to brush in a circular motion, rather than back and forth. If you are not able to brush your teeth, you can simply rinse with mouthwash or even water as a last resort.

Drink with a straw.

If you’re looking to drink a dark colored beverage, such as soda, juice, iced coffee, or iced tea, drinking through a straw will keep visible stains away from the front of your smile.

Floss regularly.

By flossing the recommended once a day, you can prevent pesky stains on the outer edges of your teeth near the gums.

Not just any mouthwash will do the job.

While all types of mouthwash are acceptable for rinsing, not all will reduce stains from plaque. The type of mouthwash to look for is one with antibacterial properties specifically.

Buy a whitening toothpaste.

Whitening toothpaste manufacturers have improved greatly in their use of peroxide rather than abrasives in their products. With this, the peroxide with give you a slightly brighter smile after you brush, instead of eroding tooth enamel. That being said, the peroxide in your toothpaste with only stay on your teeth temporarily, so the whitening effect will eventually fade without regular use.

Brush gently.

Brushing too hard will erode enamel and expose darker dentin, making your teeth look duller.

Get your teeth professionally cleaned regularly.

Regular dental cleanings with a hygienist at the dentist’s office will keep your pearly whites healthy and bright.

What is your plaque quotient?

You can check your plaque quotient by rinsing a solution from your dentist to show where plaque is still on your teeth. This will indicate if you are brushing effectively to remove stain-prone plaque in your mouth.

Consider a teeth-whitening method

If you are still unhappy with the stains you see, bleaching is a helpful option to whiten and brighten your smile. Depending on your budget, there are plenty of teeth bleaching methods to invest in, whether it is an at-home kit or a whitening session with your dentist.