How to Prevent and Reduce Yellowing and Tooth Stains

Brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash are the most dentist-recommended ways to keep a person's smile bright. However, as people age, their teeth still become darker. Wine, coffee, sodas, medications, and many other things cause teeth to lose their pearly-white shine.

Everyday wear and tear on teeth take its toll over time. The surface enamel cracks and wears away. This leaves dentin underneath exposed, which causes staining. Additionally, the plaque that builds on the outside of the teeth holds onto stains, making them look more yellow.

Fortunately, there are preventative measures that a person can take to keep their teeth from becoming too discolored. Even if some discoloration has already occurred, there are measures one can take to reverse it. Below are some tips on how to keep teeth as bright as possible.

Don't Brush Right After Eating

Contrary to the age-old saying of "brush after every meal," recent research suggests that this can damage the enamel on a person's teeth. Eating acidic foods like oranges or lemons, weaken the tooth's enamel. Brushing while the enamel is already weakened causes damage, leaving the teeth more susceptible to staining. Instead, wait at least 30 minutes after a meal to brush.

Eat Healthy Foods

As unbelievable as it sounds, there are foods that one can eat to whiten their teeth. Apples require a lot of chewing, which in turns scrubs the teeth clean. Strawberries are full of malic acid, which naturally whitens a person's teeth. Cheese and milk are packed with calcium, which makes teeth stronger and in turn, keep them brighter.

Use an Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes have been proven to be more effective at removing plaque and tough stains than manual toothbrushes. Switching to electric toothbrush guards against the development of hard-to-remove plaque. Additionally, the ADA has reported that people who are less likely to brush their teeth regularly have a better time doing so when they switch to an electric toothbrush.

Whiten Teeth at Home

For established stains, a person may have more success with a home teeth whitening kit. Home bleaching products for teeth use peroxide to remove stains from teeth, leaving them shades whiter. There is also non-bleach based whitening products that use a combination of abrasion and chemical reactions to whiten teeth. Either way, it is always best to consult a dentist before attempting teeth whitening at home.

Use Whitening Toothpaste

Dentists used to warn patients about using whitening toothpaste as they previously contained harsh abrasives that only damage the enamel of the tooth. Nowadays, toothpaste manufacturers use small amounts of peroxide in the toothpaste to temporarily whiten the surface of the teeth. Though not a long-term whitening solution, whitening toothpaste coupled with regular brushing can keep a person's smile bright white for longer.

The Closing Message

Having a bright smile doesn't have to be a complicated endeavor. Simple changes to a person's dental hygiene routine and diet provide them with the white teeth they have always wanted. Use these tips to prevent or reverse dental staining and smile confidently.

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