Removing Teeth Stains

Written by Amy Gordon (last updated November 29, 2021)

A variety of things stain teeth; health, diet, age, foods, and medicines can all cause staining on our teeth. Here are a few long-term techniques to lessen yellowing.

One thing that everyone can do is brush and floss well regularly. There are many whitening toothpastes, and some of them work to remove stains from the surface of your teeth. Your dentist can tell you which ones will work best for you, but you should at least check and make sure that the toothpaste is certified by the American Dental Association (or similar regulatory body in your country). Be sure when you brush your teeth to use a soft toothbrush rather than a firm one.

Also, be careful not to brush too hard; brushing too hard can actually cause your teeth to yellow more in the long run. If you brush after every meal, you can prevent tooth stains from ever happening. If you can't brush your teeth every time you eat or drink something, give your mouth a little rinse with cool water after each time you eat a snack or drink tea, coffee or soda.

Your dentist can whiten your teeth using peroxide. Dentists use a very strong concentration of peroxide, so this can whiten your teeth noticeably in one afternoon. You can also ask your dentist for a laser whitening treatment.

You can try to change what you eat—eat fewer sticky foods, which are more likely to stick to your teeth and cause staining, and more crunchy foods, which actually help prevent other foods from sticking to your teeth. An apple a day can truly help to keep the dentist away.

You might also try rubbing your teeth with vinegar on a cotton swab. Just dip the cotton swab in a cup of diluted vinegar, and rub over the surface of the teeth, quickly and gently.

If you decide to try using baking soda on your teeth, keep in mind it can act as an abrasive—make sure it is very wet and paste-like before applying it to your teeth.

You will want to be particularly carefully with any whitening treatment if you have orthodontic braces on your teeth (especially with the newer clear braces). You should talk with your dentist or orthodontist to make sure that the treatment you decide upon won't hurt the braces or cause some sort of tooth damage because of the positioning of the braces. (Sometimes a whitening agent could become lodged between your braces and the tooth surface, and if it isn't cleaned away fully may cause "etching" of the enamel surface.)

Any whitening treatment you choose will only be temporary. Teeth naturally yellow with age. You can prevent some of the yellowing by avoiding drinks such as coffee, tea, and colas, and by brushing regularly and visiting the dentist every six months.

Warning: Many of the teeth-cleaning products advertised on TV will actually damage teeth. They contain abrasives, which wear away the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is necessary to protect the main part of our teeth and to prevent tooth sensitivity. Ask your dentist before using one of these products.

Author Bio

Amy Gordon

Amy Gordon loves keeping things simple, natural, and safe so she can spend more time having fun. Every day she learns new things about making life at home easier and she loves to share it with you! ...


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