A smile with beautiful white teeth is the most noticed feature. But for many of us, gleaming white teeth is more of a dream than a reality, especially due to stain with the daily exposure to substances like cola, tea, smoke, acidic juices and highly pigmented foods. However, there are some simple things you can do to minimise and remove teeth stains.
In fact, teeth are never naturally completely white — they tend to be a light yellow. However, they do tend to darken as they age and expose to tobacco, smoking, coffee, tea, colas, berries. For certain severe stains, you need to consult a dentist for professional tooth whitening treatment but for many common stains – such as cigarettes and coffee — you can follow some of these simple ways noted below.
Brushing cannot completely wipe stains and plaques from you teeth, but regular, proper brushing will definitely keep them at the minimum.
First of all, brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, which works against tooth decay. If you are brushing with a traditional toothbrush, use one with a small head and soft bristles.
Make sure not to rinse your mouth out immediately after brushing, since fluoride needs to stay in contact with your teeth to build up your tooth enamel, which protects from stains.
Using whitening toothpastes
Contrary to what the name suggests, whitening toothpastes are not meant to increase the whiteness of your tooth. They actually work by removing the stains from your tooth so that the underlying whiteness shows through. Whitening toothpastes contain special chemical ingredients that dissolve the sticky protein and acidic layers on teeth deposited by coffee, tea, tobacco, wine, and other foods.
There are some materials available in every household that effectively fight against the problems of tooth staining. Salt, baking soda, and lemon juice are just a few of the resources you have around your house that can help to scrub the stains off of your teeth.
Scaling and polishing
As said earlier, regular brushing and flossing cannot remove all the stains caused by everyday food and drink. These stains can build up and harden, causing tartar. Once tartar has built up on your teeth, you should visit a dentist. S/he uses a special scaling instrument to remove stains from teeth. They also polish your teeth with a rotating brush and abrasive paste to achieve maximum whiteness.
The difference between tooth bleach and whitening toothpaste is that while toothpastes remove stains to reveal the underlying whiteness of your teeth, bleaches remove stains and actually make your teeth whiter. Bleaching is a cosmetic treatment done by a specialist that can easily produce a stain-free smile. Bleaching is not indicated for those with sensitive teeth or damaged gums. Bleach can cause extreme pain if applied on sensitive teeth or diseased gums.
Since there are many different types of treatments, you should consult with your dentist to see which one is right for you.
Dr Kazi Md Niazur Rahman.
Source: The Daily Star, April 03, 2010