Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments in Australia, with around 22% of Australian’s having whitened their teeth at some point in their life. Whilst seeing your dentist for professional teeth whitening is both safe and effective, in some cases making a few simple lifestyle changes can be all that is necessary to maintain a bright smile. This is also worthwhile for those who have recently had their teeth whitened and wish to prolong the results. There are numerous factors which can cause teeth to take on a yellow or discoloured appearance, and by limiting or avoiding some of these habits you can feel proud about your smile all year round. Here are 8 of the most common causes of stained teeth.
1. Coffee, Tea and Red Wine
When drinking dark coloured beverages which contain tannins or chromogens, it is important to rinse your mouth with water after consumption. This will help to prevent these substances from sticking to your tooth enamel, which would otherwise darken the appearance of your teeth over time. Red wine and tea can be particularly rich in tannins which naturally stain teeth and gums, so try to limit your consumption and sip water intermittently to lessen the effect. Drinking your tea or coffee with added milk can also help reduce staining.
2. Acidic Beverages
Soft drinks can be particularly bad for dental stains due to their acidic nature, as well as the presence of added sugar and pigments. Acid wears away the protective layer of enamel on your teeth, making it easier for bacteria and staining food/beverage to adhere to the surface. Many people are under the impression that white wine (as opposed to red wine) will not stain their teeth. This is not necessarily true, as many white wines are highly acidic. If you can’t eliminate acidic drinks from your diet entirely, try to enjoy them in moderation.
3. Dark Coloured Foods
If a food stains your skin, chances are it will stain your teeth as well. Some of the most common foods include beetroot, tomato sauce, soy sauce, curry sauce, dark berries and lollies.
4. Extended Contact of Food/Drink with Teeth
When eating or drinking, you should only hold food/drink in your mouth for as long as is necessary. Extended contact of food/drink with the teeth can damage tooth enamel and allow stains to adhere to the teeth. You may wish to drink with a straw to help reduce contact between the teeth and liquid.
5. Smoking and Tobacco Products
Smoking and tobacco use is a leading contributor to tooth discolouration. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, nicotine and tar leave behind stains on the teeth which can be very difficult to remove . These substances may also increase your risk of other oral health problems such as gum disease and oral cancer.
6. Inadequate Water Consumption
Drinking plenty of water is not just important for hydration, it can also help to reduce staining by rinsing away staining food/beverage residues stuck on the teeth. In Australia, the water supply also contains fluoride which can reduce your risk of decay. Make sure you try to consume at least 2L of water per day.
7. Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily will help to remove dental plaque which can harbor stains. It will also improve your overall oral health by reducing your risk of gum disease, decay and other oral health problems.
8. Not Visiting your Dentist Regularly
Nobody understands your teeth better than your dentist, and it is important to attend 6 monthly check-ups so that any problems are identified and treated early. If you are hoping to improve your smile, your dentist will be more than happy to take you through the available treatment options and determine which ones are right for you.
Stained or Discoloured Teeth? Visit Sydney Park Dental Today
It’s normal for teeth to become stained and discoloured with age, but you can achieve a whiter smile with professional teeth whitening at Sydney Park Dental. Book an appointment today by calling 02 8084 7170, we look forward to seeing you soon.