Want whiter, brighter teeth? Here’s how to avoid and reduce teeth staining without using any nasty bleaching agents.
First, we need to know the makeup of our teeth to understand how staining occurs. Our teeth are made up of four tissues:
- Enamel – the hard, white, calcified surface of the tooth
- Cementum – the hard surface that covers the root
- Dentin – the hard, yellow tissue that carries nerves below the enamel and cementum
- Pulp – the centre of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels
It is the enamel and dentin tissues that determine the colour of your teeth. Both enamel and dentin tissues can be effected differently. Tooth enamel gets stained extrinsically from factors such as food and drink whereas dentin discolours intrinsically from factors such as over exposure to fluoride as a child, exposure to Tetracycline antibiotics or tooth trauma.
How can you help to reduce discolouration on your teeth?
- Avoid foods that stain enamel such as tomato sauces, coloured sweets and dark berries
- Avoid drinks that stain enamel such as wine, tea, coffee and soda
- Use a straw when drinking coloured drinks
- Swish your mouth with water immediately after consuming stain-causing food or drink and then brush your teeth an hour or so later (wait for an hour so that brushing does not damage the softened tooth enamel)
- Avoid smoking
- Limit exposure to fluoride. Fluoride can be found in foods and drinks, fluoride tablets, toothpaste and tap water
- Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports
How can you help to banish the stains that are already on your teeth?
- Regularly visit your dental hygienist for professional teeth cleaning
- Eat fibrous foods such as apples that help to scrub the surface of your teeth
- Use a toothpaste containing baking soda such as Grin 100% natural Whitening Toothpaste. Baking soda is a great natural abrasive that effectively removes stains. Used on its own for an extended period baking soda can be too abrasive and damage the tooth enamel whereas a toothpaste containing baking soda is milder yet effective.
- Use a charcoal-infused toothbrush. Activated charcoal absorbs plaque and stain-causing particles which helps to naturally restore the whiteness of teeth.
(note only stains on the tooth enamel can be improved following the suggestions above).