No one is born with perfectly white teeth. In fact, the exact shade of our teeth is determined by our genetics, and some people’s teeth are naturally a little bit darker. Plus, as we age, the shade of our teeth becomes duller.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from tooth discoloration, a condition that distorts the natural shade of the teeth making them appear yellow, brown, or spotted. Regardless of whether the problem is major or minor, it can be a source of embarrassment and keep people from showing off their smile. Luckily, tooth discoloration is both preventable and treatable. Use this simple guide to keep your teeth looking white and bright.
The Usual Suspects
Food and Drink – Beverages like coffee, tea, soda, and red wine can all stain the teeth if consumed regularly over time. So yeah, basically all the good and fun things in life. We recommend drinking these through a straw if possible. But maybe not the red wine! Balsamic vinegar, curry & tomato pasta sauce cause teeth staining - the best trick is to eat these with crunchy vegetables and leafy greens so as to create a protective film or allow the crunchies to wipe away the stain!
Smoking – The overall act causes a variety of health problems, smoking is a major cause of tooth discoloration. The tar and nicotine in tobacco is the main cause of staining the teeth but the smoke can also have a staining effect on the teeth.
Oral Hygiene - Over a long period of poor oral hygiene, this can most definitely cause teeth to become yellow. This causes plaque to build up on the gum-line and between your teeth. When it is not brushed or flossed away, the plaque will harden and become tartar. So make sure brushing and flossing is a part of your daily and nightly beauty queen
The UnUsual Suspects
Drugs – Some prescription drugs like the antibiotics tetracycline & doxycycline can cause tooth discoloration, especially if they are taken by children while those little baby teeth are still developing. At least baby teeth are not for life! Of course, the illegal drugs are a big NO-NO in regards teeth and overall wellbeing. So kids, stay in school and don't do drugs.
Dental Fluorosis – Fluoride is essential for oral hygiene, but if taken in excess it can cause white lines or spots to form on the teeth - so THAT is what those itty-bitty annoying spots are! The excess of fluoride causes hypomineralization, which is the over-production of calcium within the teeth while the teeth are still growing.
Trauma – Teeth that are chipped, broken, or not properly capped often darken over time, which can even lead to the tooth becoming loose and falling out. Keep your cool if this unfortunately happens to you. There are always the option of veneers - age is just a number afterall!
Lets say good-bye to those yellows!
You can do a number of things to prevent and get rid of the yellowing of teeth.
1. Prevent and protect your teethy goods - Brush and floss every morning and night, avoid over-consuming of foods and drinks that stain the teeth. Even small things like using a straw when drinking tea and coffee, having a travel toothbrush & nipping into a public bathroom to have a quick scrub-a-dub! Also - less smoking, less yellowing. More calcium = less erosion = no yellows!
2. Coconut oil - is there anything it can't do? - You swish coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes to help remove bacteria, this done on a daily basis can reduce plaque and can brighten up those teeth! But keep in mind that oil -pulling is not as coco-nutty and tasty as you think! Little tip - spit the coconut oil into the toilet or bin as the oil can harden and clog yours or your mothers dear drain-pipes!
3. Brush with (not too yummy) Baking Soda
You can make your own paste with baking soda and water, which removes any bacteria and scrub away any stains on the teeth! The key here is to be patient and determined - you will see an improvement in the brightening of your teeth over time! Use one teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush those teeth - destination: pearly whites.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide - its not as scary as it sounds!
You can use hydrogen peroxide in mixture with baking soda - which has proven to whiten teeth at a much faster rate when used in combination in branded toothpastes. Simply combine the hydrogen peroxide (2 teaspoons) with baking soda(1 teaspoon) and give your teeth a gentle brush! Do keep in mind to limit this to a few times a week as the peroxide can erode your precious enamel!
5. Apple Cider Vinegar - The Multitasking Hero of the Domestic Products.
This ingredient has always been used for disinfecting and as natural cleaning product in the household. Acetic Acid is found within the cider vinegar which is what kills the bacteria which is great as it means its a double whammy of cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth! But with caution dear Smilers, as vinegar is known to soften the teeth - use the method of swishing it in your mouth for several minutes at 3 times a week! We want to keep our enamel armor strong - but shiny! ;)
6. Straighter teeth = Whiter teeth
When your teeth are straight and have less crooked nooks and crannies, there is a lesser chance of plaque and tarter build-up. As mentioned above these bad boys are one of the main culprits to stain teeth - brushing and flossing is much more effective when there are no crowded or overlapping teeth! And would you looky-here: Your Smile Direct have invisible braces that do just that - all at a cheap price, in short time and in disguise!