Having a bright, dazzling smile is considered a sign of youth and attractiveness. However, teeth can easily become discolored, leaving you feeling less confident about the way you look. The issue is so relevant that 48% of people report being unhappy with their teeth, with 64% of those citing discoloration as the main reason for their dissatisfaction.
Tooth discoloration can occur as the result of aging, genetics, and other factors, some of which are avoidable. Stains that affect the tooth enamel without reaching the internal structure of the tooth can be corrected. Professional teeth whitening can remove years of stains and improve the way you feel about your looks.
The dentists at Rifkin Dental in Yorktown Heights and Carmel, New York specialize in helping patients look and feel their best about the color of their teeth. The dental team provides safe and effective professional teeth whitening along with a full menu of general dentistry services that can keep your entire mouth looking and feeling healthy.
Whether you’re trying to retain your teeth’s natural luster or extend the results of tooth whitening, you can slow down the process of discoloration by changing your daily habits to fight against avoidable stains. Find out what the teeth whitening experts at Rifkin Dental recommend to patients seeking to prevent tooth discoloration and stains.
Avoid dark or acidic foods and drinks
You’re more likely to develop stains on the surface of your teeth if you frequently consume dark-colored foods and drinks. These types of stains affect the enamel, making teeth look dull and yellowish.
Acidic foods and drinks can make the enamel more susceptible to staining. These substances erode enamel and leave rough patches where stains from dark-colored ingredients can occur.
You can delay stains from foods and drinks by reducing the quantities you consume of the following:
- Coffee and tea
- Dark soft drinks like cola and root beer
- Red wine
- Dark beer
- Orange, pineapple, and other acidic juices
- Grape, cranberry, and other dark fruit juices
- Cherries and berries
- Acidic foods including tomato sauce
- High-staining condiments such as curry, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce
Offset the effects of damaging substances
You’re not alone if you find it difficult to choose between your daily coffee and brighter teeth. In fact, some potentially tooth-staining foods have benefits, such as high amounts of vitamin C, that can make them important to your overall health.
Generally, you’ll likely find it impossible to avoid all variations of dark and acidic foods in the name of whiter teeth. However, you can offset the effects of damaging ingredients if you do the following:
- Add a small amount of cows’ milk to your coffee, which protects your teeth from its staining acids
- Eat dark green vegetables before pasta sauce to set a protective film on your teeth
- Drink from a straw to reduce the amount of liquid that contacts your teeth
- Use crunchy lettuce with balsamic vinegar to help clean the dressing from your teeth
- Combine stain-fighting apples, celery, or carrots with curry-seasoned meals
- Follow berries with milk or hard cheese, which work to neutralize the acid in these fruits
Quit tobacco use
Smoking and chewing tobacco cause yellowish and brownish teeth, along with cancer and other life-threatening health problems. When you quit smoking and chewing tobacco, you can enjoy both a healthier life and a healthier-looking smile.
Prevent tooth grinding
You can experience tooth discoloration if you frequently grind your teeth while you sleep. Discoloration occurs when the outer layer of the enamel wears away, which commonly results from tooth grinding and gnashing. The effect can make your teeth appear yellow since the deeper surfaces of your teeth are darker.
Wearing a night guard can prevent tooth grinding and protect the outer layer and overall structure of your teeth. This nighttime appliance is customized to your mouth to allow for a comfortable fit while you sleep.
Get regular dental cleanings
Your journey to a whiter smile begins with clean and healthy teeth and gums. While brushing twice daily as recommended by the American Dental Association is a good start, it’s important to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
Regular dental cleanings can identify stains at their start. Early diagnosis allows you to consider options for improving the appearance of your teeth when discoloration and damage are easiest to correct.
Whether you’re thinking about teeth whitening or just want to maintain your natural smile, the dentists at Rifkin Dental can recommend safe and effective options. Schedule an appointment online or call one of our offices today.