Tips to Keep Your Teeth Stain-Free
Tooth stains are a common cause of dull, yellow smiles. In addition to visiting your Monroe, MI, dentist, Dr. Jeannette Murphy for dental cleanings and other services, these tips can help you reduce stains.
Watch what you eat
Have you ever struggled to remove red wine from a tablecloth or been unsuccessful in eliminating a popsicle stain from your favorite white shirt? Stains from darkly pigmented foods and beverages are particularly hard to remove, whether they occur on your shirt or your teeth.
Pigments from foods and drinks drift into microscopic pores in your tooth enamel. As the pigments accumulate over the years, your teeth begin to look duller. Avoiding these foods, or at least eating or drinking less of them, can help you keep your teeth whiter. In addition to wine and popsicles, foods, and beverages that can cause stains to include:
- Cola and other darkly colored soft drinks
- Dark beer
- Grape juice
- Sports drinks
- Blueberries, cherries, and other dark berries
- Tomato sauce
- Soy sauce
Use a straw
Drinking dark beverages through a straw may reduce staining. When you use a straw, most of the liquid bypasses the fronts of your teeth. Although it may seem a little strange to drink your morning cup of coffee or tea this way, using a straw can offer a simple solution to staining.
Brush after meals
Brushing immediately after eating can reduce the number of pigments that settle in the pores of your teeth. Although brushing is usually a good idea, don't brush right away if you've been drinking cola or wine or eating or drinking other acidic foods and beverages. Brushing can spread the acids throughout your mouth, increasing your risk of tooth decay. Wait at least 30 minutes to brush after consuming acidic foods or beverages.
Schedule regular dental cleanings
Do you visit the Monroe dental office every six months for checkups and cleanings? Cleanings remove plaque and tartar and also get rid of minor surface stains that can dull your smile.
Consider teeth whitening or veneers
If you're unhappy with your smile, your dentist offers two options that will brighten your teeth. During teeth whitening, a hydrogen peroxide gel breaks up and removes dark pigments, leaving your teeth up to eight shades whiter.
Dental veneers provide a long-term whitening option. The thin porcelain or plastic shells are attached to the fronts of your teeth with dental cement. Veneers not only whiten your teeth but also conceal minor flaws.
Are you tired of your dull smile? Teeth whitening or veneers may offer the smile boost you need. Call your dentist in Monroe, MI, Dr. Murphy, at (734) 242-4744 to schedule your appointment.