Oral Health: Preventing and Eliminating Stains
Everyone wants a nice white smile. Naturally, our teeth are not bright white. They have a natural, slightly yellow tinge to them.
In order to maintain your beautiful smile, you can make slight changes to your lifestyle and eating patterns. You can also be more conscious of your oral health care in terms of brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.
Foods That Stain
There are foods that we eat each and everyday, that can potentially harm the look and strength of our teeth.
Drinks are a large area of concern. Coffee, tea, and soda all stain your teeth. The first tip would be limit the amount of these drinks that you consume. If you do have a soda, drink it through a straw. This will help protect your teeth from its negative effects.
Hard candy not only stains teeth, but threatens its overall health.
There are food items (such as berries), which can stain your teeth, but they at least provide your body with nutrients. Candy on the other hand, does not provide you with any positive benefits. Eliminate these from your diet. Healthy food options such as berries and beets can be consumed, just try to include them in your meals. Then follow your meal with a thorough brushing.
Other Causes of Stains
We already know that smoking is bad for our oral health. It not only increases one’s risk of cancer, but it allows stains to form on the exterior of teeth. The same is true for chewing tobacco. Believe it or not, you can develop stains on the inside of your teeth.
This is due to changes of the enamel. For example, certain medications can cause this effect. Children who’s teeth are still developing, can end up with brownish teeth, when consuming the antibiotics doxycycline or tetracycline.
Genetics and aging also play a role. Some people are naturally born with thicker enamel. When enamel is thicker, your teeth often appear whiter. As you age, the enamel thins, which causes teeth to look a touch more yellow.
You can be more conscious of your diet and lifestyle, but what if you already have stains?
Well, you can start by using a whitening toothpaste. This will help eliminate any surface stains. It will not remove deeper stains however. If you are concerned that coffee or tea have left stains on your teeth, try a stronger toothpaste. You can always ask your dental professional for assistance regarding the best options for your teeth.
Since plaque helps trap stains, it is important that any plaque is addressed. This can be removed professionally, helping eliminate any tough build-up. Once removed, it will be up to you to continually prevent further build-up. Brush and floss regularly, while investing in a mouthwash that promotes oral health.
You can also brush your teeth with a bit of baking soda. This helps remove plaque, while whitening one’s teeth. Simply wet your toothbrush, then dip it into some baking soda. Brush with this paste for approximately 2 minutes. Then, spit, and thoroughly rinse. If you experience any unpleasant tingling due to the baking soda, stop brushing immediately. With any new method, consult your dental health professional before incorporating baking soda into your oral health routine.
Fluoride helps make enamel stronger, creating less tooth decay. This mineral is found within various foods and in water. In some areas, fluoride is added to the local water system. It’s been found that when children drink fluoridated water, they remain cavity-free into their teenage years.
If there isn’t any fluoride in your community’s water, then you can purchase fluoride toothpaste. Speak with your dentist for recommended use. You can also access fluoride rinses from a dental health professional.
While fluoride can aid in your child’s oral health, it can also cause white spots to form on their teeth. This occurs when too much fluoride has been ingested. Children under four generally swallow up to 40% of the toothpaste that is used to brush their teeth. This is why a pea-sized amount is more than enough. Also, teach your children to regularly spit after brushing their teeth.