Many of us are self-conscious about our teeth. Discolouration is largely caused by plaque, but there are a number of factors that can play a part. Here are some of the top tooth-staining culprits that should be looked out for and how to limit their damage.
Hot drinks such as coffee and tea are both big offenders when it comes to stained teeth. Coffee, in particular, can cause yellowing if consumed on a regular basis. Cutting down on your cups of coffee or drinking cups of water between hot drinks can help to prevent this staining.
All alcoholic drinks are bad for our teeth, largely due to their high sugar content. However, red wine, in particular, can cause heavy staining. A regular red wine drinker may even notice their teeth turning a greyish hue. As with coffee, drinking cups of water in between wine glasses can make a difference. Meanwhile, the traditional combo of cheese and wine could actually be good for your teeth, as cheese is full of calcium and good for the micro-pores on our enamel, canceling out the staining properties of red wine.
Smoking is all-round bad for our oral hygiene. It’s been linked to oral cancer and the development of gum disease. The nicotine and tar is also very bad for our teeth, causing brownish staining. Whilst there are whitening gums and toothpastes for smokers, kicking the habit entirely could be far better for your teeth and overall health. Vaping is a far better alternative – whilst the nicotine may still cause some staining, you don’t have the tar (plus, there are nicotine-free e-liquids for those that can fully withdraw themselves). Sites such as vaporescense.com have a wide array of e-liquids to choose from. There are other ways to give up too such as nicotine patches and therapy that could be better suited to some people.
Sugar will rot your teeth, but sugary drinks, in particular, will do the fastest damage. Because we swill these drinks around our mouths, every surface of our teeth gets coated in sugar. There are some ways to limit this damage such as drinking water between fizzy drinks or drinking soft drinks through a straw (this stops us swilling the liquid around our mouths). Alternatively, choosing sugar-free drinks can make a huge difference.
Bad brushing techniques
We all know that brushing our teeth regularly can keep our teeth whiter. However, many of us can damage our teeth by the way in which we brush. For example, brushing your teeth too hard can cause the enamel to strip away, exposing the surface below which is more of a natural yellowy hue as ultra-white.com points out. Similarly, using an old brush can be bad for our teeth. This bristles on a new brush are great for cleaning away plaque, but on an old brush the bristles can become damage and start to scratch at our teeth. You’ll usually be able to tell if you’re brushing too hard if brushes get easily damaged – brush in light circles rather than a vigorous scrubbing method that could be tearing away the white layer on top.