Dental Resolution No. 6: Keeping Teeth Brighter
A cup of coffee may put a smile on your face every morning but it could also prevent you from flashing your best smile.
Consider this: your tooth enamel has very tiny holes and cracks that can hold food particles. Coffee and other beverages such as fizzy drinks, tea, chocolate drinks as well as dark-coloured foods such as tomato-based sauces, berries, and dark chocolates contain pigments that can seep into these holes: this is the common cause of tooth discolouration or staining.
Smoking is also one of the common causes of stained teeth: nicotine and other chemicals can be absorbed into the porous enamel, causing yellow and brown stains to appear.
You need not give up coffee or other dark-coloured foods mentioned here entirely (although we’d strongly encourage you to stop smoking!): the key is moderation. Instead of consuming coffee constantly throughout the day, try to limit it to 2 cups per day. It can be good practice to rinse your mouth with water after consuming dark-coloured foods or drinks, especially if they are also acidic or contain sugar.
You can try using a whitening toothpaste but don’t expect that this can give stained teeth a professionally-cleaned look. Whitening toothpastes may help to reduce the superficial stains in the enamel, but they can’t bleach teeth.
If your teeth have become stained, sometimes they can be brightened with a professional clean. If the stains are deeper, tooth whitening may be the best option. Speak to your dentist about how to keep your teeth looking their best.