5 Tips to Avoid Teeth Stains

It’s embarrassing when your formerly bright smile is dimmed by dingy stains on your teeth. The good news is that many teeth stains can be removed or avoided altogether.

There are two kinds of teeth stains. Intrinsic stains are caused by trouble with your tooth roots, use of certain medications, or other irreversible conditions. These stains may be difficult to avoid and must be treated with crowns, veneers, or other solutions masking the tooth’s appearance. Extrinsic stains are topical in nature, on the other hand, and are much easier to avoid.

5 Ways To Avoid Teeth Stains

  1. Take a close look at your toothpaste and mouthwash ingredient labels. Avoid products with stannous fluoride or cetylpyridinium chloride unless recommended by teeth-stainsyour dentist for cavity control. Oral care products with these ingredients will carry a notice on the label identifying temporary staining as a possible side effect.
  2. Change the way you drink your coffee or tea. One easy way to avoid teeth stains from coffee or tea is to drink through a straw. This directs the beverage to the back of your mouth, lessening the amount of liquid that settles on your teeth.
  3. Brush after foods and drinks that stain teeth. A good rule of thumb is foods that could stain your rug could also stain your teeth. Brushing immediately after consuming berries, red wine, citrus fruits, coffee, or tea can help avoid teeth stains. Drinking water after consuming staining foods can help, too.
  4. Eat more high-fiber fruits. Fruits high in fiber, like apples and pears, help keep your teeth whiter because they promote saliva production (keeping your teeth cleaner) and because the fiber actually scrubs some stains off of your teeth.
  5. Create an at-home natural whitening treatment. A simple way to avoid teeth stains is to create a weekly whitening treatment by mashing up fresh strawberries (which contain malic acid, a natural whitener) with some water and baking soda. Brush the mixture on your teeth, then rinse your mouth.

“There are many products available to whiten stained teeth, but you can largely avoid teeth stains by paying attention to your diet and taking a few simple self-care steps,” says Dr. Carol Ford.

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