At Harley Street Smile Clinic, one of the most common treatments we offer is teeth whitening, helped along by brand new cosmetic equipment we like to call the Stain Blaster! We know it’s a really simple and straightforward process, but we also know how easy it is to prevent stains from building up at home. By avoiding particular stain-creators or at least cutting down on them, you can ensure that your teeth stay beautiful and white for longer. Here are the top five culprits that you should be wary of:
- Tea and coffee
It’s hard to imagine starting a busy day without a nice cup of coffee, but tea and coffee are among some of the worst food and drink products for discolouring your teeth. Try to ensure that you drink them in moderation – cutting down on caffeine will be good for you too! Brushing your teeth straight after tea or coffee can also help to prevent the stains from setting in.
Many people who smoke are well aware of the many health risks associated with cigarettes, but they are also extremely bad for the look of your teeth. Not only does the nicotine give your teeth a yellow colour, heavier smokers will also discover a build-up of tarry black stains between their teeth. Smoking is highly addictive and extremely difficult to give up, but those who hope for pristine teeth need to be aware that it can’t be achieved unless they quit for good.
A lesser-known staining agent is tetracycline, a chemical found in some antibiotics which can turn the teeth yellow, grey or brown. Tetracycline staining comes into full effect when the teeth are exposed to light, meaning that the teeth at the front are often a different colour from the teeth at the back. Tetracycline can be found in a number of medications prescribed to treat acne as well as various infections, and its resulting staining can usually only be hidden using veneers, as whitening treatment is rarely sufficient.
Dental fluorosis is a different kind of tooth discolouration, often taking the form of white or brown dots or patches on the teeth. It occurs as a result of using toothpaste containing fluoride, drinking bottled water that has not been checked for fluoride content or eating some foods imported from different countries. Fluorosis often takes hold in childhood, and can really only be treated using cosmetic whitening.
It’s something that can’t be avoided – we eat and drink a huge variety of food and beverages throughout our lifetimes, and our tooth enamel undergoes a lot of natural wear and tear. As we are told from a young age, brushing properly and regularly with the correct toothpaste (always check for fluoride content!) is the best way to keep staining and discolouration under control, but gradual, natural tooth staining is something that all people have in common as they get older.