This is one of the most frequently asked questions by my patients.
There are multiple reasons for teeth discoloration and stains. Some of them might be external such as plaque build-up which can be easily removed whereas internally discolored teeth such as due to fluorosis may require specialized treatment.
The natural yellowish appearance of teeth occurs with aging as the enamel layer gets eroded with age and exposes the underlying dentin layer.
Few remedies are available to reduce the yellowing of teeth although they cannot be completely eliminated:
Certain studies have proven oil pulling to be effective in the removal of bacteria and plaque on tooth surfaces resulting in whitening.
Swish 1 to 2 teaspoons of the oil for 10 to 25 minutes in your mouth and spit it out.
The oils which can be used are-
Proper technique of tooth brushing plays a big role in plaque removal. Circular motion is advocated for the optimal removal of plaque and debris. Also, brushing immediately after consuming foods that stain the teeth such as blackberry, tea, coffee, red wine will help reduce discoloration.
Sugar-free chewing gums:
Chewing gums stimulate saliva production which flushes out the debris in the oral cavity and hence help in tooth cleansing action.
Fruits and vegetables high in water content:
Certain fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, papaya, strawberry aid in tooth cleansing action. Also, fruits and vegetables high in water content such as watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber result in enhanced saliva production and therefore assist in plaque removal.
These include lemons, oranges, baking soda, apple cider vinegar which help whiten the teeth due to the acid present in them. Although they do help tooth whitening, they must be used cautiously as improper usage or over usage of these products can damage tooth enamel and result in hypersensitivity and cause decay.
Tooth discoloration can be prevented by:
-Avoid tooth-staining foods ( beetroots,tea, coffee etc)
-Brushing immediately after consuming such foods.
-Have plenty of fruits and vegetables
-Drink plenty of water
-Brush twice a day for two minutes.