If you suffer from teeth that are deeply discolored, you may be hesitant to smile in public. Nevertheless, dental discoloration is often a purely cosmetic issue. Many people with yellowed or darkened teeth have healthy teeth and gums.
Although dental discoloration can certainly result from dental decay, it is often due to the absorption and retention of pigments from food and drinks. Teeth may look completely solid, but they are actually porous, and the colorants that remain in the pores of the teeth build up over time to cause discoloration.
There are multiple ways to treat discoloration, such as the use of natural whiteners and over-the-counter whitening kits. You can also have your teeth professionally whitened in your dentist's office. Still, once the teeth have been whitened, they may become discolored again if proper precautions are not observed. Here are a few measures you can take to maintain the whiteness of your teeth:
Avoid dark foods and drinks.
If you are disciplined enough to avoid deeply colored foods, such as blueberries, and dark drinks, such as coffee or tea, you are more likely to maintain the whiteness of your teeth longer. If you are not willing to give up darkly pigmented foods completely, consider only indulging every now and then. By lessening the frequency of your teeth's exposure to the pigments, you also slow the accumulation of the pigments.
Rinse your mouth after eating.
You may not always have a toothbrush handy, but you are likely to have drinking water nearby. After eating meals or snacks, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. This will help remove plaque and food particles from the mouth, but it will also help dilute pigments that could discolor your teeth. If the dilution occurs before the colorants have had a chance to settle deeply within the pores of the teeth, the chance of discoloration is lessened.
Chew whitening gum.
Whitening gum can also help preserve the whiteness of your teeth. There are multiple varieties of whitening gum. Some contain mildly abrasive ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or sodium bicarbonate, to help scrub discoloration from the teeth. Others contain dissolving substances, such as malic acid, which breaks up stains to make their removal easier. The gum also promotes the production of saliva to help dilute staining pigments.
To learn more ways to maintain the whiteness of your teeth, schedule an appointment with a dentist, like one from Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood), in your area.