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Reasons and Remedies For Tooth Discoloration

If your stained and discolored teeth are causing you not to smile, you may be losing your self-confidence. However, there are remedies for stained and discolored teeth, so know you can whiten your teeth and restore your self-esteem.

What Habits Will Stain My Teeth?

Stained and discolored teeth can be the result of several things, not just smoking, although that’s the most common assumption. Other reasons for stained and discolored teeth include the aging process, medications, trauma, genetics, dietary habits, and poor oral health. Any of these can cause tooth discoloration, and if you have more than one, it can exacerbate the problem.

Does My Diet Stain My Teeth?

Your diet may significantly impact the whiteness of your teeth. Foods that provide you with great enjoyment can wreak havoc on your white teeth, such as:

  • Carbohydrate-laden foods: White bread, white potatoes, white rice, pasta, cereal, and other tasty foods are rife with sugars that can destroy your tooth enamel and make your smile dingy.
  • Dark beverages: Although coffee, cola, tea, red wine, dark ales, and beer are very popular beverages that are consumed in great quantity throughout the U.S., they can stain and discolor your teeth. The acids in them can weaken your tooth enamel and cause your teeth to appear even darker.
  • Sugary beverages: Sports drinks, sodas, and any type of fruit juice are high in acids and sugar that can erode your tooth enamel.
  • Sweet snacks: Gum and candy are extremely high in sugar content, which can destroy your tooth enamel, which is the white part of your teeth. This will make your teeth appear dark and dingy.
  • Be sure to rinse your mouth well with clear water after consuming any of the above.

Are There Foods That Will Help Prevent Tooth Discoloration?

Just like eating some foods can cause tooth discoloration, consuming others can help ward off tooth discoloration and staining. Including the following in your diet can help maintain your white teeth:

  • Plain water: Water is essential for both our physical and oral health and well-being. Compared to the sodas and sports drinks that are advertised, plain water is very mundane, but it can help you maintain whiter and brighter teeth. It rinses away the acids and sugars that remain in your mouth after eating and drinking, and it removes some of the food particles that can be lodged between your teeth and gums.
  • Dairy products: Although dairy products are unjustly maligned, they are, in fact, good for the majority of people. The calcium and protein in cheese and milk strengthen your teeth and bones and help prevent your tooth enamel from eroding. They also help neutralize the acids in your mouth.
  • Cocoa: Although most people don’t associate cocoa intake with healthy teeth, the flavanols in cocoa make it an effective anti-inflammatory, so it can help protect your teeth from enamel loss and dental caries. Dark chocolate contains the flavanols, not milk chocolate, white chocolate, or chocolate syrup.
  • Sugar-free drinks: If plain water isn’t an option, then sugar-free drinks can help perform the same functions and help with your oral health. Be sure to rinse your mouth well with plain water so that no residual acids remain on your teeth.
  • Flax seeds and fish: Both of these contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-inflammatories that may protect you from periodontal disease. Be sure to balance your omega-3 intake with the appropriate amount of omega-6 intake, however, since there’s a ratio that works best.

Does Smoking Any Type of Cigarette Cause Tooth Discoloration?

The consensus among dentists is that tobacco use is the leading cause of tooth staining and discoloration. It doesn’t matter whether you smoke, vape, chew, or dip. Not only is tobacco bad for your oral health, but it’s also the leading cause of lung cancer.

Are There Types of Tobacco That Don’t Discolor My Teeth?

The short answer is no. Any type of tobacco use will discolor your teeth and damage your health. Ask your dentist about alternative methods, such as black pepper essential oil, to help you stop smoking.

Can I Get Whiter Teeth But Still Smoke?

If you want to continue to smoke despite the known hazards, you can have somewhat whiter teeth by using the following procedures:

  • Be dedicated about brushing your teeth after you smoke.
  • Get professional dental cleanings at least twice each year.
  • Follow the American Dental Association guidelines for brushing and flossing at least twice each day, and use an antibacterial mouthwash every day.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet that includes fresh, crunchy vegetables that will help cleanse your mouth.

Are There Simple Methods to Help Prevent Dental Discoloration?

If you’re discouraged about your stained and discolored teeth, there are some simple methods that may help you, such as:

  • At-home tooth whitening kits can whiten your teeth, but there are drawbacks. If you have crowns or bridges, they may not whiten the same as your natural teeth.
  • Use over-the-counter whitening toothpaste, although it may increase sensitivity in your teeth.
  • Ask your dentist for a take-home whitening kit, which will be more effective than commercially manufactured tooth whitening kits.
  • Be aware that if you continue to smoke or engage in other practices that cause tooth discoloration, your teeth will most likely not remain white.

What Lifestyle Changes Will Prevent Tooth Discoloration?

Several simple lifestyle changes can provide whiter teeth, such as:

  • Follow the American Dental Association guidelines for at-home care, such as brushing and flossing twice daily, especially just before bedtime.
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash at least once each day, and get regular professional checkups and cleanings. Twice yearly is the best, but at least once each year.
  • Brush your teeth each time you have a meal or a snack.
  • Get needed dental treatment promptly.
  • Rinse your mouth well with plain water if you’ve had a dark-colored snack or beverage.

Still Not Smiling?

If your smile still has you not smiling, then you have options. Depending on your unique circumstances and your personal needs, consider the following:

  • An at-home whitening treatment
  • Dental appliances such as crowns or veneers
  • Get a professional whitening treatment in your dental office. The professional treatments are more effective and much quicker. They’ll also ensure a more even color for all your teeth.
  • Ask your dentist for a prescription toothpaste or a topical treatment.

Don’t continue to hide your smile because of stained or discolored teeth. There are alternatives for both smokers and non-smokers, so get your whiter smile today!

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