Dazzling white teeth are the hallmark of a beautiful smile. There’s an overwhelming amont of toothpaste advertisements that feature a mouthful of pearly white teeth that are the result of using XYZ brand of toothpaste. But white teeth aren’t all about beauty. They are about healthy teeth, also. If you have stained teeth, it is important to determine the cause of the stains, and then to take steps to remove the stains.
Healthy, white teeth contribute to a person’s appearance, making you look younger and more attractive. So it is certainly worth your time to take a little effort to ensure that your teeth are as clean as they can be. Get a professional cleaning done at least twice a year. Your dentist will not only clean your teeth, but also make certain that they are all in good condition.
Know the Causes of Black Stains on Teeth
Stains on teeth can run the gamut from light yellow, through orange, green, bluish gray, to dark brown and black. Different substances or health issues cause different colored stains on the teeth. The two major types of stains are intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic stains originate inside the tooth, either in the dentin or the pulp. Extrinsic stains are on the outer surface of the teeth.
Intrinsic stains can be caused from trauma to the tooth, certain types of antibiotics, medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy, or from overuse of fluoride. Extrinsic stains are caused by a number of things:
• Coffee, tea, wine, and cola drinks
• Tobacco, both smoking and chewing
• Lack of proper brushing and flossing
Black Stains on Teeth: Removal
There are a few steps you can implement to remove dark stains on teeth. A dentist can clean your teeth in a manner that you can’t do at home. If a simple dental cleaning doesn’t do the trick, ask what the choices of cosmetic procedures are. There are a variety of whitening kits that can be purchased for use at home. The first step, however, is to determine whether the black stain on your teeth is an intrinsic or extrinsic stain. That will determine the method of whitening to use. If the stain is determined to be extrinsic, treatment will be much easier than if it is intrinsic in nature. Some procedures include:
- Micro-abrasion. This method involves polishing the stained tooth’s surface with a mix of pumice and hydrochloric acid. This removes a very thin layer of the tooth’s enamel, so use this method with caution.
- Porcelain Dental Veneers. This method is one that simply covers the stained, crooked, or chipped teeth with porcelain veneers. The veneers will transform your problem teeth into perfectly white, straight teeth in just one visit to the dentist. You can get just a few of your problem teeth covered, or a complete set for a complete makeover. Although porcelain veneers are highly stain-resistant, you will still need to take care of them and avoid foods or drinks that are highly staining.
What You Can Do About Black Stains on Teeth
There are a few simple cleaning agents that you may already have in your kitchen that you can combine to make a whitening paste to clean away the black stains on your teeth.
1. Make a whitening paste combining strawberries, salt, and baking soda. The Vitamin C in the strawberries helps break down plaque, and the enzyme malic acid in the berries may help to remove the surface stains. The salt is an abrasive.
How to use: Mash one to three large berries, add just a pinch of sea salt, and ½ teaspoon of baking soda. Only leave this mixture on for about five minutes. Then rinse thoroughly.
2. Another option is to mix up a simple paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. The baking soda combined with water breaks down the molecules that cause the stains on the tooth enamel.
How to use: Use two parts of hydrogen peroxide to one part baking soda, mix it together to make a paste, apply it to your teeth and let it stand for about a minute, then rinse thoroughly. Only use this paste two or three times a week so it doesn’t break down the tooth enamel.
3. Whitening strips are available to purchase for use at home. The common kit will contain two strips, one for your upper teeth, one for the lower. The strips, made of polyethylene, have peroxide gel affixed to the strips. Read the box before you buy to ensure getting the right strips. Avoid strips that use chlorine dioxide. This chemical is used to sterilize swimming pools and can damage your tooth enamel significantly.
4. Whitening mouth rinse or toothpaste: Your teeth can be whitened and new stains can be prevented. Stick to the directions as some people get sensitive teeth when using these products.
5. Try the combination of baking soda and lemon juice. The baking soda is mildly abrasive that will clean plaque and other build-ups off your teeth. The lemon juice is a bleaching agent. Both of which should be used with caution and if discomfort persists, please discontinue use. The following video shows how:
How to Prevent Black Stains on Teeth
There are many ways you can avoid staining your teeth. You will want to be especially careful after you’ve just had them cleaned so that the stains don’t reappear too soon. There are several foods and drinks that you will want to avoid or limit that are staining. Remember: if it stains your hands or clothing, it will likely stain your teeth. Watch out for:
• Coffee, tea, and soda
• Cranberry and grape juices
• Soy sauce
• Tomato sauce
You can avoid some staining by drinking through a straw, which puts the drink behind your teeth. Clean your teeth religiously. Brush thoroughly, floss regularly, and use an antibacterial mouthwash. These procedures fight plaque buildup that stains adhere to. It is best, however, to wait for an hour or so after eating before you brush. This gives the tooth enamel time to re-harden so it isn’t damaged by brushing. See your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning. Don’t use any form of tobacco, for a number of reasons. Not only does it stain your teeth, but also it kills. Beautiful white teeth are within reach if you follow the suggestions listed here!