Cosmetic Dentistry That You Can Do Better (II)

Have your pearly whites lost their luster due to teeth stains? Stained teeth can occur naturally as we age, but some common foods, drinks, and even mouthwashes can cause teeth stains. Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth, and avoiding substances that stained teeth can stop further discoloration. Use these secrets to whiter teeth to restore your bright smile.

To Keep Teeth White, Don't Light Up
Not only is it bad for your health, smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to teeth stains. Nicotine causes brown stains that penetrate the groves and pits of tooth enamel and can be hard to remove by brushing alone. The longer you smoke, the more entrenched the stains become. Smoking also causes bad breath and gingivitis (gum disease), and increases risk of oral cancers. These aren't the only teeth-staining foods to be aware of...
More Foods That Stain Teeth
The deep color of these fruits and veggies give them their nutritional punch. But blueberries, blackberries, and beets leave their color on teeth as well. Eat up for your health, and prevent tooth stains by:
Brushing teeth after eating.
Rinsing your mouth with water.
Sports Drinks Can Be Tough on Teeth
While all sweetened drinks are bad for teeth, some energy and sports drinks may be worse, according to one study in General Dentistry. Researchers found that these drinks -- as well as bottled lemonade -- may erode tooth enamel after long-term use. The result is thin, translucent, discolored teeth. To prevent tooth erosion:
Don't sit and sip these drinks for a long time
Rinse your mouth with water when finished drinking.
Medications That Can Stain Teeth
The antibiotic tetracycline cause gray teeth in children whose teeth are still developing. Antibacterial mouthwashes -- containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride -- also stain teeth. Some antihistamines, antipsychotic drugs, and antihypertensive medications cause tooth stains, as can iron and excess fluoride. If bleaching doesn't help, ask your dentist about dental bonding, in which a tooth-colored material is applied to teeth.
Rev Up the Powered Toothbrush!
One simple strategy can help maintain white teeth: brush. Brush at least twice and floss at least once daily. Even better, brush after every meal and snack. Brushing helps prevent tooth stains and yellow teeth, especially at the gum line. For best results, try a powered toothbrush. Both electric and sonic toothbrushes may be superior to traditional toothbrushes in removing plaque and surface stains on teeth.
Open Wide and Say "Whiter Teeth!"
See your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleaning. The abrasion and polishing (dental air polisher) methods dentists use can remove most teeth stains caused by food and tobacco.
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