Teeth stain removal may be on your mind if a cup of coffee or tea is part of your daily routine, as the stains these drinks cause can take a toll on self-confidence. Knowing how to prevent your teeth from staining (and understanding how to correct the problem) means you can enjoy your caffeinated beverages of choice and still maintain those pearly whites!
Practice Proper Brushing Techniques
Stains on your teeth can be a result of sub-par brushing techniques. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests brushing twice a day (for two minutes each time) with a soft-bristled brush, using an ADA-accepted whitening fluoride toothpaste and replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles become frayed. The ADA also recommends placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and moving the brush back and forth in short strokes for proper oral care—and to maintain a white smile.
Flossing daily is another way to help prevent or improve staining, especially between teeth where darker stains like to hide out. Consider using floss to thoroughly scrub between teeth. Do this at least once per day for best results.
Tobacco stains teeth just like coffee, tea and wine (even more so in many cases). But unlike coffee and tea, tobacco doesn’t offer any health benefits and, as noted by the American Lung Association, puts you at risk for lung diseases like lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Yellow and brown stains from tobacco products are difficult to whiten, so do your body and teeth a favor by steering clear of cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Making regular trips to the dentist can help ensure your teeth become—and stay—as white as possible. Your dentist can often remove stains before they become too problematic for you, which is why keeping up with regular visits is crucial.
Many dentists recommend coming in for cleanings about every six months, but the frequency with which you should schedule appointments is up to your dentist and based on individual needs. If you have heavy staining, your dentist may encourage you to come in every three or four months.
Try Bleaching Products at Home
A number of at-home whitening products are available to help with teeth stain removal. The best part? You can do it all on your own time—there’s no need to schedule an appointment. Look for products that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance, meeting ADA’s criteria for effectiveness and safety.
Consider In-Office Whitening
If you want a professional to whiten your teeth for you, check in with your dentist about in-office whitening techniques. While this option isn’t necessarily cheap, it’ll give you fast results after just one or two sessions. In-office whitening works well when you have heavy staining from coffee, tea, wine or nicotine, but need a quick fix.
Stained teeth are nobody’s cup of tea, but with the right oral care regimen (and bleaching products, if necessary) you can bring dull teeth back to life in no time.