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21 / 12 / 2018

Minimising The Effect Of Teeth Staining Products

Some Tips For Those Who Want Whiter Teeth But Enjoy Products That Contribute To The Problem Of Staining.

When offering advice to patients, we often consider the types of foods, drinks and lifestyle habits that should be moderated or avoided to help maintain healthy teeth, gums and indeed overall well-being.

An example of this would be patients who smoke. If we advise you to avoid this habit and you don’t, or can’t, then the potential results can be devastating, and even fatal. Ultimately of course, it is your decision but also our responsibility to offer advice where we feel it will be beneficial.

Other suggestions may not be as clear cut and this especially applies to the advice given about keeping your teeth whiter for longer. Whilst it is true that if you avoid products such as red wine, tea, coffee and soy sauce, there is every likelihood that you will have whiter teeth, this does entail a certain amount of self-control, something many of us are not very good at.

The fact is that most of us don’t have the time, or the will, to devise a diet that will not stain our teeth, and certainly one that we also actually enjoy. Even though we may advise patients to avoid food staining products, we know that very few will cut them out altogether. So, if it is the case that people want whiter teeth, but won’t stop consuming tooth staining products, is this achievable?

Moderation

The first thing we would say is that if you don’t wish to eliminate these products, then try to at least reduce their use. Some of these products are probably not eaten regularly anyway, whilst others, such as tea, are probably drunk very frequently, building up discolouration. Even in this case though, you can still ease up a little. Try drinking your tea less strong than usual, drink water with it and maybe cut down by the odd cup or two if you drink a lot of it. Every little will help.

Drink water

Some patients have asked whether brushing their teeth after drinking tea, etc. would help retain the whiteness. This is generally not advised. Although it may remove some staining, it will also mean that enamel could erode, especially if you do this regularly. What you might find useful to do however, is to swill water around your mouth after eating or drinking anything that may stain your teeth. This will remove at least some of the staining material without harming your teeth.

Keep your teeth healthy

This is an important one for obvious reasons. Keeping your teeth in good health means that you should be able to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. What is probably less well known though is that healthy teeth are less likely to stain. Try running your tongue on your teeth; do they feel rough or smooth? If your teeth feel rough, this indicates a likely build-up of mineral deposits and dead bacteria that create a rough surface. As you can probably imagine, this presents lots of tiny nooks and crannies that make it easier for your teeth to become stained. There are a number of ways that you can help your teeth remain smoother and healthier.

  1. Avoid acidic foods and especially fizzy drinks that can erode the surface enamel
  2. Leave 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. This helps to avoid enamel erosion
  3. Eat crunchy fruit and vegetables. This will help to remove surface deposits
  4. Have your teeth scaled and polished by the hygienist. This removes built-up deposits and is also excellent for gum disease prevention
  5. Maintain a good home cleaning regimen.

We do recommend that our Ipswich patients have a scale and polish every six months or so. Gum disease is a real problem that many people may be unaware they even have. Good general care, combined with this, is an excellent way to help keep your oral health in great shape.

If it’s too late….

But what if your teeth are already stained? The advice above is of limited use if you already have teeth that have become discoloured. If you are in this situation, then some form of treatment will need to take place if you want to have whiter teeth.

This may mean little more than a scale and polish for some people. In addition to the health benefits of this procedure, it will also remove some of the staining from the surface of your teeth. It isn’t as effective as a teeth whitening procedure and will not produce the same results, but, if your teeth are only very slightly discoloured due primarily to surface staining, this may offer sufficient improvement.

Teeth whitening procedure

At the Lighthouse Dental Practice, our teeth whitening treatments are very popular. They are a very effective way of restoring the whiteness of your teeth and are entirely non-invasive. The treatment is fast-acting and can improve the whiteness of your teeth by several shades in a very short period of time. The results will last for several months before the teeth start to darken again. The good news is that this treatment is safe, and repeating the process is not a problem.

This will be our final blog of 2018. We hope that you have enjoyed them and, if you have any suggestions for topics for the New Year, we would like to hear from you. In the meantime, we would like to wish all of our patients a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year from all at the Lighthouse Dental Practice.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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