The reason why I care about teeth whitening is because no one should feel embarrassed or self-conscious when smiling. Also, changes in teeth colour can give us clues about changes in diet and overall health. These clues can include: yellowing of teeth due to poor diet choices and thinning of enamel due to undiagnosed acid reflux. Tea, coffee, red wine, smoking, the inevitable process of ageing, old fillings and certain medications can darken the appearance of teeth. So what can we do about it?
Tip #1 – Use a straw for dark drinks
The most common culprits are tea, coffee and red wine. The less contact these drinks have with your teeth the better. Acidic drinks and foods in particular can thin your enamel, making it more predisposed to trapping stains. As well as this, when your enamel thins out, you start to see a darker layer of the tooth underneath. Both these factors can contribute to yellow looking teeth.
- Try to limit the amount of ACIDIC foods and drinks you consume per day. That is, know what foods have a low pH (therefore are more acidic) and consume less of these – especially in between meals. For example: citrus fruits, soft drinks, vinegar and sparkling water.
- If you regularly consume acidic foods or drinks, I urge you to drink water afterwards and avoid immediately brushing your teeth. Once your enamel thins out from acidic damage – that’s it! We can’t re-grow enamel.
- Medical tip – if you suffer from acid reflux, I recommend you see your dentist to check the state of acid erosion on your teeth. The damage caused by stomach acids can be significant and irreversible, it is important to treat this early on. Here’s a quick summary of Hearburn, Acid Reflux and GERD.
Tip #2 – Avoid smoking
Smoking regularly or occasionally will stain your teeth. Even if you professionally whiten your teeth, the staining will return if you continue to smoke. Think of it this way, whatever you drink/eat/inhale in your mouth can change the colour of your teeth.
- Try and cut back or quit if you are serious about your health and of course getting your teeth whiter.
- Quitting smoking is by far one of the most difficult things to do. Have a chat with your friends, family, GP or check out Quitnow for help.
Tip #3 – Ladies..dark lipstick is your friend
Our eyes interpret whiter teeth when they are directly next to a darker colour such as darker foundation or lipstick.
- Go for dark reds and burgundy rather than pale pinks and neutrals. This time of year is also perfect for these colours. Here’s some palette inspo: My Favourite Lipsticks + Swatches.
Tip #4 – Regular cleans at the dentist
As a dentist, there are many tools to tackle the removal of stains. These include:
- Re-adjusting existing fillings
- If these techniques don’t work, we also offer in-chair whitening for quick results or custom-made take home kits. The ingredients we use are safe, and they work on breaking down stain deposits. You can be assured they won’t damage your teeth and with our regular top-up offers, having whiter teeth has never been more affordable.
Why not give us a call to find out more? (02) 8678 3538.