It is a common assumption that the enamel protecting your teeth and ultimately the dentin underneath is responsible for making your teeth white, but this isn’t strictly true.
It is your teeth’s dentin which decides how light or dark your teeth dark appear as enamel is actually semi-translucent.
So how do my teeth end up stained?
Enamel may arguably reflect the colouring of dentin underneath, but this doesn’t prevent it from becoming stained over time.
Exposed to coffee, tea, wine, cigarettes, fizzy drinks and teeth staining foods (sauces and berries), over exposure to these foods without proper care of your teeth can cause your enamel to take on a yellowy/greyish appearance.
Luckily you can learn how to prevent this discolouration and recapture your smile.
Take the following tips. Each can help to prevent the bacteria and acids which are responsible for damaging and staining your teeth, and ensure your teeth remain pearly white.
1. Brush and floss regularly – you should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss in the evening. However to offer your teeth extra protection try brushing an hour after you have eaten (you should never brush your teeth within the first 30 minutes of eating an acidic food as your teeth will be very sensitive putting your enamel at risk of abrasions)
2. Learn how to eat/drink in moderation – if you can remove any of these staining foods/drinks from your diet completely do it. However, if you’re struggling instead try to reduce how often you have wine, tea etc and remember to keep your teeth clean.
3. Swallow quickly – without choking try to swallow these foods/drinks as quickly as you can to limit your exposure. One clever trick is to drink from a straw as it will remove your teeth from the equation.
4. Chew gum – sugarless gum will help to remove stains and food compounds which have got stuck in your teeth, so when you can have a chew of sugarless gum between meals.
5. Use teeth whitening gels – whether you choose to go to your dentist or invest in a home teeth whitening kit, both gels can help to convert coloured compounds into colourless compounds and help to whiten your teeth.
Some teeth whitening kits for example uses the same 16% Carbamide Peroxide that dentists use to bleach your teeth and can whiten your teeth by up to 11 shades in 2 weeks. Simply wear the gel in a tooth mould for 30 minutes every day and after 2 weeks you will have a whiter, brighter smile.
Learning to take care of your teeth, is only one step to helping you achieve a whiter smile. So give the above tips a try and see the difference they can make to your teeth.