|If you’ve recently had cosmetic dental treatment because of concerns over tooth stains, you’re probably wondering if there is anything you can do to prevent stains from happening in the first place. We have good news and bad news for you.
The bad news is that there are some causes of tooth staining you can’t control, like age and past dental trauma. The best you can do is to treat those stains as they occur, whether through teeth whitening, veneers, or other cosmetic treatments.
The good news is that there are plenty of causes of tooth staining that you can control – and we’re here to help you do just that. Here are the top 5 ways you can prevent your teeth from becoming yellowed and stained.
- Avoid foods that are known to stain teeth.
The top culprits of food-related tooth staining include wine, coffee, tea, sodas, and acidic fruit juices and soft drinks. But if you’d rather not cut coffee or healthy fruit juices out of your diet entirely, don’t worry. Oftentimes you can prevent stains by rinsing your mouth out with water after you’re done with your beverage. You can have your coffee and your pearly whites too!
2. Practice good dental hygiene.
Good dental hygiene includes brushing after every meal, flossing every day, rinsing your mouth out with water after eating or drinking teeth-staining foods, and visiting your family dentist twice a year for a teeth cleaning. This can not only keep your dental health on track, but it will also keep your teeth clean and reduce the odds of stains.
3. Quit smoking.
We’ll be the first to admit that “whiter teeth” is pretty far down the list of reasons why you should quit smoking. But smoking does stain the teeth, so if having white, shiny teeth is important to you, consider quitting.
4. Ask your doctor about the side effects of your medications.
Certain medications, such as tetracycline, are known to cause darkening of the teeth. In fact, tetracycline has been shown to cause tooth darkening in children whose mothers took it during the second half of their pregnancies. Be sure to ask your doctor about all the side effects of a medication before you start taking it. If there’s a certain side effect you can’t live with, you’re well within your rights to ask for a different medication.
5. Watch out for your children’s dental health.
True, this won’t make your teeth whiter, but it can pay major dividends in your children. We already mentioned how certain medications can affect teeth of babies who have yet to be born. (Tetracycline is rarely prescribed to mothers-to-be for this very reason.) You should also try to avoid having tetracycline prescribed to children under 8, and be very careful about early exposure to fluoride. Once the enamel on your child’s teeth has formed, fluoride is fine, but before then, it can stain a child’s teeth.
And of course, teaching your child healthy brushing and flossing habits is the gift that keeps on giving their entire life.
These are just a few of the ways you can keep your teeth white, bright, and healthy – there are many others! If you’d like to learn more, feel free to give us a call or ask the dentist during your next appointment. After all, we love to see smiling faces all over Winston-Salem, NC and Clemmons, NC, so if we can put a smile on your face, we’ll do it!