If your teeth are yellow and stained, always have a whitening treatment to restore their brighter, whiter color. However, preventing stains and yellowing in the first place is easier and less expensive. This all comes down to simple, everyday habits. Here are six such habits that will help keep your teeth white and stain-free.
1. Drink Dark Liquids With a Straw
Coffee, red wine, dark beer, and cola are some of the biggest culprits with stained teeth. In a perfect world, you would avoid these drinks entirely. But in the real world, you will probably want to indulge occasionally. When you do, try to sip your beverage through a straw. This allows the liquid to bypass your teeth and land directly on your tongue. You get the entire flavor with fewer stains.
2. Sip Water After Other Beverages
Even light-colored beverages can contribute to staining if they are high in sugar. Sugary drinks like lemon-lime soda and orange juice encourage bacteria to proliferate on your teeth. The plaque that forms as these bacteria replicate can cause yellow stains.
To reduce the impact of sugary beverages on your teeth, always rinse your mouth with water after drinking them. The water will rinse away most of the sugar, helping to prevent plaque formation and yellowing.
3. Use a Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste will not whiten your teeth many shades like a professional whitening treatment would. Rather, they work well for fighting minor yellowing and staining before teeth whitening treatment becomes too extensive.
Whitening toothpaste is most effective when you use them before stains are too noticeable. Most whitening toothpaste contains mild abrasives, like baking soda, to help physically scrub away stains.
Look for a whitening toothpaste that sports the ADA seal of approval. Those that do not carry this seal may not be safe to use. Brush with the toothpaste as instructed on the label. You need to use some daily, while you only need to use others once or twice a week. Brush with a regular, fluoride toothpaste whenever you do not use the whitening toothpaste.
4. Switch to an Electric Toothbrush
Many people do not brush as thoroughly as they should. As a result, some plaque remains on the teeth, leading to yellow stains. An easy way to improve your brushing is to switch to an electric toothbrush. The vibrating motion of the brush head does a more thorough job of removing plaque. Make sure you change the toothbrush head every three to six months for the best results.
5. Set a Timer When You Brush
Especially on busy mornings, you may be tempted to rush through your brushing. When you do, you will miss spots, leaving plaque behind to cause stains. Try setting a timer when you brush to prevent yourself from rushing. Two minutes is enough time for most people to brush thoroughly. If you want to be extra thorough, set the timer for three minutes.
6. Scrape Your Tongue
Scraping your tongue may sound like a strange way to prevent yellowing teeth. However, doing so removes bacteria from your mouth so they do not re-deposit on your teeth and cause plaque to form. If you do not have a tongue scraper, you can brush your tongue with your toothbrush – but this is not quite as effective. You can purchase tongue scrapers at most pharmacies.
If you follow the tips above, your teeth should remain relatively white as you age. Should you notice some stains or yellowing, contact the experts at Family Dental Center. We offer various whitening options, including Zoom whitening. Call us today if you have any questions.