Daily oral care: Guide to keeping your teeth white

Over time, your teeth can change colour from white to not-so-white for a multitude of reasons. Some reasons for the colour change are as follows:

● Dental cavity/cavities
● Poorly fitted dental crown
● Very old fillings
● Aging ( as we grow older our teeth become yellow)
● Nicotine and tobacco smoking
● Excessive coffee consumption
● Drinking too much wine

On the basis of the cause and the occurrence of the stains, tooth stains can be classified as Internal and External stains.

Internal stains are the stains that are located inside the tooth. Common causes include:

● Certain medications
● Trauma causing blood to spread into tooth structure,
● Silver fillings
● Improper root canal treatments.

A traumatic injury can cause the affected tooth or teeth to become darker. As mentioned earlier, blood from inside the tooth leaks into the surrounding tooth structure causing the discolouration.

Young children who are exposed to antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline during tooth formation, may have discolouration of their adult teeth.

External stains are present on the external surface of the tooth. The causes of these stains are tea, coffee, red wine and tobacco smoking. Depending on the severity of the stains, whitening toothpastes, whitening strips or home whitening kits are effective.

Drinks such as coffee, tea and red wine contain intense colour pigments called chromogens. The chromogens attach to the tooth enamel causing it to seem darker.

Tar and nicotine in tobacco are well known causes for teeth to turn a yellowish colour. Additionally, as people age, the enamel layer becomes thinner allowing the inner yellow layer to be seen.

Fortunately, there are various procedures to keep your teeth white. Mentioned below are sharing are a few tips for keeping your smile bright and white:

1. Good Oral Hygiene
The most basic thing you can do to attain and maintain a bright and white smile is to practice good oral hygiene methods at home.It is important to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Additionally, flossing your teeth and Using a mouthwash (not everyday though) are additional measures to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

2. Avoid Foods or Drinks that can stain your teeth
Coffee, red wine, berries and coloured drinks can cause permanent staining on the enamel of your teeth. To avoid permanent staining, consider curtailing your consumption or rinsing with water thereafter.

4. Use a Straw When Drinking Coloured Beverages
If you enjoy coffee, red wine, or sparkling water regularly, consider using a straw. By using a straw, the stain-causing liquid avoids your front teeth. Additionally it’s best to avoid these coloured drinks for at least a week after your whitening teeth. However, cutting back on the stain causing beverages is the best means to retain the brightness of your smile.

5. Avoid Brushing too Hard
When the enamel, or the outer layer of your teeth starts to thin, your teeth begin to look yellow and become more susceptible to staining. By practicing proper brushing techniques such as using a Medium hard toothbrush and not brushing too hard.Harder brushing does not mean cleaner teeth.

6. Professional Teeth Whitening
Professional whitening or bleaching is the safest way to achieve a bright smile. It is always better to consult with your bright smile dentist prior to commencing the treatment. This will enable you to explain your expectations to the dentist. Besides after a thorough check-up of your teeth, gums and mouth in general, your Canberra dentist will suggest a favorable bleaching treatment for you.

These are the options available for teeth whitening. These are:

● Home bleaching kit
● In-office bleaching treatments
● Laser bleaching treatments

Of these, the In-office bleaching and Laser bleaching methods are done in the dental clinic. These procedures are done under the professional care of your bright smile dentist at Molonglo Dental Surgery.

At-home bleaching treatments include the unsupervised use of whitening strips, whitening toothpastes or the use of trays.

We at Molonglo Dental Surgery, understand the dilemma a patient faces when presented with a plethora of options for teeth whitening. However we encourage a consult in our dental office for an extensive dental check up to provide the best possible treatment in conjunction with your preferences.

7. Minimize/Eliminate Tobacco
According to an article on the Australian Dental Association website, smoking is estimated to kill 19,000 Australians and remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability each year. Vaping, smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco can cause stains on teeth. The stains bind with the enamel and dentin causing a brown to black discolouration.

8. Drink Water Between Beverages
Studies have shown that the idea of sipping water while drinking a stain causing beverage, will help wash away dark liquids off your teeth. it is a good idea to alternate a sip of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with a drink of water. Research has proved that some acidic beverages consumed before a coffee can worsen the coffee-based tooth discolorations or result in ‘smoker teeth’.

Brush Your Teeth
The longer the colouring liquid stays on your teeth, the more severe the staining will be. You can brief after consuming the food or beverage.However, it’s vital that you wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth after drinking any acidic drink.If you brush too soon, you may end up spreading the acid around your teeth.

In addition to brushing, it is important to clean the tiny spaces between your teeth with a floss.

Flossing teeth without hurting your gums can seem a bit tedious. Hence the best dentist in Canberra and her team will teach you the correct tooth brushing and the proper way of flossing teeth.

Daily Oral Care Routine
The most promising way to protect your teeth against staining is a thorough oral care routine. Since plaque on teeth binds with staining substances, reducing plaque will decrease all-around discolouration. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day as well and occasional use of a mouthwash should form an integral part of your home care dental routine.

Periodic dental visits
Besides a home-care routine, at least a biannual visit to your dentist office is advised. This will help you in minimising the severity of dental caries, professional cleaning of your teeth to prevent plaque formation and maintain the ‘white’ of your teeth.

With good brushing habits and professional teeth cleaning, you can maintain your bright smile. Nevertheless, according to your smile specialist at Molonglo Dental Surgery, stains may appear over time.


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