How to Prevent and Get Rid of Tooth Stains

Having tooth stains can really put a crimp in your dealings with other people.  If you are always worrying what people think about your tooth stains, you are unlikely to be able to act comfortably and naturally.  Coworkers and acquaintances might not only interpret a tight-lipped smile as a sign of veiled diffidence but you might also affect your own mental well-being.

In the animal kingdom, one of the signs of submission is the baring of teeth.  In the human world, a full smile is similarly a social grace that conveys an authentic projection of true amity.  If, however, you display only a half-hearted, self-conscious smile, concealing your teeth, those around you might feel you are holding something back.

The alternative for those with stained teeth is just as bad.  A full smile displaying yellowing or dark tooth stains will project an image of ill health and poor hygiene that discourages potential suitors and undermines confidence.  It is a harsh but true fact that we judge by appearances.  When we see problems with aspects as personal as dental hygiene, we make value judgments.  If a person cannot make good decisions about something as intimate as his tooth care, how can we trust them with the decisions that affect us all, we seem to say.

So, what can one do to avoid getting tooth stains in the first place?

Brush after Every Meal

It’s obvious, but true: brushing after every meal is the best way to avoid stains.  Most stains originate with left over food matter.  If you brush after each meal, these natural stain causers don’t have time to do their dirty business.

Be sure you brush well.  Brush all sides of your teeth and floss afterwards.  Take a brush to work or school so that you can brush after lunch as well.  If you get deposits at the gum line, be sure to brush at an angle so that you get underneath the gums where bacteria build up happens.

Keep Regular Dental Appointments

Make sure you make regular dental appointments for cleanings; these visits will head off problems before they get out of hand.  If you already have a problem, ask your dentist about getting rid of tooth stains.  Most dentists offer expert tooth whitening services.  These have really improved in recent years, no longer creating that false glow they did when they were first developed.

Avoid Bad Habits that Stain Teeth

Sodas, coffee and cigarettes all increase the likelihood of tooth stains.  Not only are all these habits bad for your overall health, leading to high blood pressure, nervousness, obesity and lung cancer, but they also are bad for your dental health.  Your best bet is to remove them from your life.

Of course, this may simply not be possible.  Who, after all, can live like a saint?  If you have to drink soda or coffee, then you should, at least confine them to your meals when you can brush right afterwards.  One of the worst things you can do for the appearance of your teeth is sip soda throughout the day.  This is sure to lead to tooth stains.

As for cigarettes, if you cannot quit, then you might consider going on the nicotine patch, which at least will spare your teeth and perhaps form a good first step towards quitting.

Whitening Patches

Once you already have stains, you will find there are several types of whitening patches and toothpastes on the market targeted especially to those in your situation.  These will help a bit, but if you really want to restore you teeth to complete, healthy looking whiteness only a dentist’s bleaching process will really do the trick.  Be sure you go to an actual dentist with experience doing whitenings.  Some of the cheaper processes may give you that unnatural look that tips everyone off to a poorly done whitening and force you to redo the process.

In the end, however, you will still need to take the same precautions to keep your whitened teeth white, just like with natural teeth.