Tooth Discolouration and Other Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth
While tooth discolouration might seem like a minor problem to some – for others, having stained teeth can cause them to feel self-conscious about smiling and may even cause anxiety in others. Among the most common of culprits to blame for tooth staining? The foods we eat! Beverages we drink also play a role.
For example, coffee and tea. In fact, black teas have been known to cause more staining than coffee, while herbal and white teas can also eat away at the enamel of your teeth and also cause staining. Another common culprit are sauces (such as ones that are tomato-based), acidic sports and energy drinks, carbonated drinks (such as sodas), both red and white wine, fruits (such as blueberries, blackberries, cherries and pomegranates), and candy.
It can be difficult to cut back on some of these tooth straining foods and vegetables for a number of reasons. Many of the aforementioned fruits, for examples, are rich in antioxidants. However, if you’re someone who consumes a lot of berries, try cutting back on them and opt for other sources of antioxidants and ones that are less likely to cause tooth staining, such as apples, melon, and cauliflower. Coffee and tea can oftentimes be essential to some people needing an energy boost, so to prevent the teeth from becoming too stained you should always make sure you’re not letting these and other stain-causing drinks (such as sodas) linger in your mouth for too long. You can also prevent your teeth from becoming stained by drinking beverages through a straw, just be sure to let the hotter ones cool down a bit before doing so.
After eating and drinking, you should rinse your mouth out with water. After eating foods that are acidic, it’s recommended that you wait approximately one hour before brushing your teeth. Brushing too soon could result in damage to your tooth enamel, which could result in sensitive teeth. If you happen to be out somewhere and don’t have your toothbrush with you, chew a piece of sugar-free gum until you’re able to do so. While using a regular toothbrush works, dentist often recommend patients try an electric toothbrush as they are better for fighting stains and promoting healthy teeth overall. Flossing is also essential, as it’s not just good for cleaning out bits of food stuck in between your teeth – it can also help to prevent stains from hiding in between the teeth, too. Following your brushing and flossing, you should also rinse with a mouthwash. A mouthwash will not only help prevent stains, but it will also help protect your enamel, prevent gum disease, and give you fresher breath. Over-the-counter whitening products can also reduce staining on the teeth, but many of these products can cause sensitive teeth – or, cause already-sensitive teeth to feel even more sensitive. If this is you, then you’ll probably want to avoid whitening products.
Aside from preventing stains, taking care of your teeth with regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups with your dentist (along with regular dental hygiene appointments) is important for a number of reasons. Going for regular dental checks and cleaning will help prevent things such as tooth decay and gum disease – and, the more regularly you go for your dental check-ups, the earlier you will catch any problems such as cavities, which can be filled, as opposed to needing to take more drastic measures such as root canals and tooth extractions, which can be much harder on the body and result in longer recovery time in addition to potential complications, such as pain, swelling, and infection.