Category Archives: Teeth Whitening

Teeth-Staining Foods and Drinks You Should Limit

In life, the things we indulge in usually come with consequences. And the food and drink we consume are no different. Many of the products we eat and drink are likely to affect the colour of our teeth. While you may not notice this, these effects are clearly visible over a long period of time.

However, there are particular foods and drinks that can drastically stain the teeth and give a yellow appearance.

If you’d like to reduce staining and keep your teeth looking naturally white, you may wish to limit your consumption of teeth-staining foods and drinks. In this guide, we explain the products that are most likely to stain your teeth.

Teeth-Staining Food

When eating food that is likely to stain your teeth, we would always recommend drinking a glass of water alongside. While we know avoiding these foods altogether isn’t possible, and we would certainly not recommend this, you may wish to limit the following teeth-staining foods if these are a huge part of your diet:

Dark Fruits

Fruits are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals. Berries, in particular, are super healthy, low in calories and high in fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants. 

With that being said, berries are one of the biggest tooth-staining foods out there! Dark in colour,  blackberries and blueberries cause your teeth to discolour most compared to any other berries, so you might want to be careful when packing your smoothie full of dark berries!

Beetroot

Before piling into your soups, salads and desserts, you may want to think about the effects of beetroot on your teeth. Anyone who has ever come across a beetroot will know just how much they can stain surfaces and clothes. Your teeth are no different! 

While they are packed full of vitamins and minerals, they are an extremely powerful staining agent. So you may wish to eat in moderation.

Sauces

Sauces are essential for adding flavour and smooth consistency to the foods we eat. While they may be tasty, dark-coloured sauces can be the most damaging to our teeth and are more likely to cause stains. Soy, tomato and curry sauces are the most likely to cause staining.

If you can, try to switch to light-coloured sauces or rinse after eating.

Sweets and Chocolate

As a nation of sweets and chocolate lovers, we love to indulge in the sugary things in life. Not only can sweet treats increase the chances of tooth decay, but they can also speed up the process of tooth discolouration.

As a general rule of thumb, any sweet that changes the colour of your tongue can make a huge difference in staining your teeth. 

Teeth-Staining Drinks

Similar to the teeth-staining foods, we don’t think you should cut out teeth-staining drinks altogether, but you may wish to limit consumption where possible. You can also use a straw to prevent drinks from touching your teeth.

Tea & Coffee

It wouldn’t be a Monday morning without our morning brew! Brits are known for their love of tea and coffee. While tea and coffee come with a wealth of health benefits, darker varieties of these drinks can cause the most staining. Black tea can actually cause more staining than coffee.

Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are deliciously sugary and contain a huge amount of sweeteners, flavouring, colours, and acids. We all know that fizzy drinks can cause long-term damage to our teeth and gums, but they can also cause serious stains.

As these drinks tend to have colourants to give them their familiar colour, these chemicals can eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth.

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks and sports drinks, like carbonated drinks, can erode the enamel with their high acidity content. This then paves the way for stains to appear much sooner. If you can, try to switch to water instead.

Alcohol

When opting for heavily coloured alcohol, you guessed it, you can definitely end up with stained teeth! Red wine, colourful cocktails and dark spirits can stain your teeth. While you may just think only dark drinks can stain your teeth, you’d definitely be wrong! White wine contains high levels of acid that can erode the enamel and allow for quicker staining.

Teeth Whitening Treatments

If you find that all of your favourite foods and drinks are listed above, don’t panic! The easiest way to refresh your smile is with teeth whitening procedures that can effectively brighten the teeth. In just one treatment, teeth whitening can make a tremendous difference and is a quick and effective method of removing stains on the surfaces of the teeth.

We offer a free no-obligation consultation to allow us to check your suitability for treatment and to make sure you understand every option available, including our in-surgery and at-home teeth whitening service.

Are you ready to take advantage of a pain-free, brightening treatment to restore the whiteness in your teeth? Find out more about our teeth whitening treatments.

Or, if you have any questions, please get in touch.

What Causes Stained Teeth?

We all strive for a brighter smile, with some of us opting for home teeth whitening kits or attempting natural home remedies to strip the enamel of our teeth. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the safest option and can be a waste of time and money if you don’t find the root cause of the problem.

Stained teeth are a common issue that many of us face in our lifetime and can be caused by a variety of different factors. Whilst some causes of stained teeth are beyond your control, others causes are usually down to our day-to-day lifestyle, diet, hygiene or even medication.

Stains on your teeth occur on the surface or below the tooth enamel. Whilst there are many different causes of tooth staining, we have explained some of the most common causes and how you can remove these stains for a brighter, whiter smile.

Diet

Stain particles from a pigmented residue (which is usually found in foods and drinks) can build up in the film of protein that covers the enamel on our tooth surface. Over time, this residue can turn to a yellowish-brown shade and can make the teeth appear unclean.

Common foods and drinks to limit include coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, wine and some dark fruits and vegetables, such as blackberries, blueberries, cherries and beetroots.

Smoking

One of the most common causes of stained teeth is smoking cigarettes, which is due to the tar and nicotine chemicals found in cigarettes. Smoking can yellow the teeth in a short period of time, which is why many long-term smokers suffer from brown teeth due to excessive smoking over many years.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is a common cause of most critical dental problems, so of course, this can contribute towards stained teeth.

After consuming sugary foods or drinks or even engaging in smoking, the pigmented residue can build up in the film of protein which surrounds the enamel of your teeth, which can cause extrinsic stains when the teeth are not cleaned properly.

If you struggle to maintain good oral hygiene, this film can gradually turn a yellowy-brown colour and can give the appearance of stained teeth. For this reason, you should ensure that you are regularly brushing your teeth twice a day (for two minutes each time) using a fluoride toothpaste and the teeth are regularly flossed.

Medical Treatment

Some medical treatments can contribute to tooth discolouration, including blood pressure controlled medications, antihistamines, tetracycline, doxycycline, mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium and also chemotherapy treatment.

Depending on the quantity of and the length of your treatment course, your teeth can stain sooner, so it’s worth knowing that not all causes of staining are due to poor hygiene or dental habits. This can be frustrating for those who have no choice but to turn to medication to treat a condition as it leaves many feeling less than confident with showing their smile.

Ageing

Over time, the teeth naturally discolour, which is commonly known as age-related discolouration. In addition to stains caused by foods, drinks, medicines or smoking, the teeth naturally yellow over time due to the enamel of the teeth becoming thinner as time goes on.

As the enamel wears away, it exposes the tooth as the translucency reduces, making the teeth appear darker than they were in previous years.

How To Remove Stains On Teeth

Staining of the teeth is a natural process of life and can’t always be easily avoided. If you’re wondering how to clean stained teeth, you should begin by ensuring that you have good oral hygiene habits and that you are regularly brushing and flossing as recommended by your dentist. You should also avoid (or limit) foods and beverages which are known to discolour the teeth. 

You may also wish to visit your cosmetic dentist in Essex for advice, as they will be able to recommend a suitable treatment, such as cosmetic bonding, dental veneers or professional teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is the most affordable option, which is a simple and effective method of reversing dental discolouration, a tried and trusted method used by many dental patients around the world.

Teeth whitening can dramatically enhance your smile and overall appearance by restoring the natural shade of your teeth to make your teeth appear clean and white. The treatment is also known as a confidence-booster to create that perfect smile with a non-invasive and painless dentistry procedure.

It’s worth understanding that not all patients will require the teeth whitening treatment, as some staining can be removed with a deep clean as part of our dental hygienist service, however, a deep clean cannot remove intense stains which have built up over a long period of time, therefore a teeth whitening treatment takes the stain removal to the next level.

There are also hundreds of electric toothbrushes available on the market which can support in whitening your teeth by deep cleaning the surfaces of your enamel. Electric toothbrushes are available to suit all budgets and requirements, whilst most are equipped with a two-minute timer to give you guidance on how long to brush your teeth for.

Achieve a Whiter Smile

Teeth whitening can make a tremendous difference in just one treatment and is a quick and effective method of removing stains on the surfaces of the teeth.

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients. This is why our highly-skilled and experienced cosmetic dentists are there for you every step of the way in achieving your perfect smile.

Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our teeth whitening treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.

Improving Your Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

If you are on a low budget but want to improve your smile there are many ways to do this without having to spend a lot of money and going through drastic changes.

Teeth whitening: Whitening your teeth can be simple as chairside whitening. You can whiten your teeth in one appointment where you’ll be able to come into the practice and have them whitened with the ZOOM laser. The dentist will protect your lips and gums with a barrier and will place a special whitening gel on your teeth. All you need to do is sit back and relax and when the treatment is complete your teeth will look several shades brighter. Continue reading Improving Your Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

How To Look Your Best Look After Your Smile

Important check-ups and hygiene visits

Dental ChekupA check-up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy. If problems are left untreated, it could make them more difficult to treat in the future. It is therefore best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether. A dental check-up or examination usually takes less than 30 minutes for routine check-ups and around 45 minutes to 1 hour for new patients.

Your dentist can carry out a thorough dental examination to check the health of your gums, which may involve inserting a thin metal stick with a bend in one end (periodontal probe) beside your teeth. Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree and most people experience it at least once. It’s much less common in children. Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria. Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are harmful for the health of your gums. If you don’t remove plaque from your teeth by brushing them, it builds up and irritates your gums.

If you have gum disease, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth and you may have bad breath. This early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If gingivitis isn’t treated, a condition called periodontitis can develop. This affects more tissues that support teeth and hold them in place. If periodontitis isn’t treated, the bone in your jaw may be damaged and small spaces can open up between the gum and teeth. Your teeth can become loose and may eventually fall out.

Mild cases of gum disease can usually be treated by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly. You should also make sure you attend regular dental check-ups.

In most cases, your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to give your teeth a thorough clean and remove any hardened plaque (tartar). They’ll also be able to show you how to clean your teeth effectively to help prevent plaque building up in the future.

If you have severe gum disease, you’ll usually need to have further medical and dental treatment and, in some cases, surgery may need to be carried out. This will usually be performed by a specialist in gum problems (periodontics).

If you have untreated gum disease that develops into periodontitis, it can lead to further complications, such as:

  • Gum abscesses (painful collections of pus)
  • receding gums
  • loose teeth
  • loss of teeth

Diet and erosion and decay

Everybody has a certain amount of bacteria in their mouth, good bacteria, and not so good bacteria. Every time we eat or drink, the sugars in the food reaA general view of dentist at workcts with the bacteria, causing what’s called an ‘acid attack’. The acid attack lasts up to an hour, so in this time your teeth are most vulnerable. The more acidic foods and drinks you eat, the more your teeth are at risk of getting cavities. We always advise to cut your acid/sweet foods down to meal times. You may ask why, the reason is, when you eat your meals, your teeth are naturally under attack, so if you want to eat sweets or fizzy drinks, it’s better to eat them with your meals, to cut down the frequency of the attacks.

Bacteria is plaque. Plaque is made from your saliva, food and sugar particles. It’s a sticky film which lays on all surfaces of your teeth. Plaque can be removed with a toothbrush, plaque also forms in-between the teeth, and this is why your dentist may recommend you using dental floss, or interdental aids. This is because your toothbrush cannot reach small areas in-between your teeth to remove the plaque.

If the plaque is not removed, its starts to form a hard layer, called calculus. Calculus cannot be removed with home aids such as a tooth brushing or flossing, so you will need to take a visit to your dentist, or dental hygienist, who will remove the hard calculus with special dental instruments. If the calculus is not removed, the calculus then eats away at the tooth’s supporting tissues, then creating tooth mobility.

How best to clean teeth

Brush your teeth for approximately two minutes last thing at night before you go to bed and on one other occasion every day. It doesn’t matter whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, just as long as you brush all the surfaces of all your teeth. Remember to brush the inside surfaces, outside surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth.

Some people find it easier to clean their teeth thoroughly with an electric toothbrush. If you’re using an electric brush, one with an oscillating or rotating head may work better than a manual toothbrush.

It’s important to use toothpaste with the right concentration of fluoride.

  • Adults – use toothpaste that contains at least 1,350 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
  • Children – don’t need to use special “children’s toothpaste”. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350-1,500ppm fluoride. Children aged six and under who don’t have tooth decay can use a lower-strength children’s toothpaste, but make sure it contains at least 1,000ppm fluoride.
  • Below the age of three, children should use just a smear of toothpaste. Children aged three to six years should use a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Children need to be helped or supervised brushing their teeth until they’re at least seven years old.

After brushing, spit out any excess toothpaste. Do not rinse your mouth after brushing, as it will wash away the concentrated fluoride reducing its preventative effects. This will also happen if use mouthwash immediately after brushing. Choose a different time to use mouthwash, such as after lunch. Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes after using a fluoride mouthwash.

Flossing isn’t just for dislodging food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line. It’s best to floss before brushing your teeth.

You can use interdental brushes instead of flossing, especially if there are gaps between your teeth. The brush should fit snugly between the teeth.

Your dentist or hygienist can advise you on the best way to use interdental cleaning for your teeth.

Veneers

Looking after veneers is relatively simple.

  • Brush and floss as you normally would to prevent dental problems. A good home care regimen will insure the aesthetic success of your veneers for years to come.
  • If you are known to be a bruxer or clencher, i.e. you have a habit of grinding your teeth, please let your dentist know. He or she will provide you with a bite guard for you to wear to minimize the stresses placed upon your teeth while you sleep.
  • Regular maintenance and dental check-ups are recommended so that your veneers and oral health can be reviewed periodically.

Bridge/ crowns

It is important to keep the crown just as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown itself cannot decay, but decay can start where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss.

Your new bridge will probably be made of porcelain as this is the most natural – yet also durable – material and it should last 10-15 years as long as you look after it properly. You should clean your dental bridge twice every day, just as you would your normal teeth. This will ensure that food debris is removed and will stop bacteria from building up around it. Super flossing will help too and is recommended by dentists. Your dentist will be able to demonstrate to you how best to clean and look after your dental bridge.

Implants

You care for your implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. It is important to brush and floss daily. If you have any problems, see your dentist before your six- month recall visit. Regular hygenists visits are essential.

Dentures

Keeping your mouth clean is just as important when you wear dentures. You should brush your remaining teeth, gums and tongue every morning and evening with fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems.

It’s important to regularly remove plaque and food deposits from your dentures, because unclean dentures can also lead to problems, such as bad breath, gum disease, tooth decay and oral thrush.

Clean your dentures as often as you would normal teeth (at least twice a day – every morning and night). You should:

  • brush your dentures with toothpaste or soap and water before soaking them to remove food particles
  • soak them in a fizzy solution of denture-cleaning tablets to remove stains and bacteria (follow the manufacturer’s instructions)
  • brush them again, as you would your normal teeth (but don’t scrub them too hard)

Dentures may break if you drop them, so you should clean them over a bowl or sink filled with water, or something soft such as a folded towel.

Perfect Smile Spa based in Hornchurch Essex is a Leading Cosmetic Dentistry practice and is dedicated to PAINLESS dentistry.

Call us for a free consultation on 01708 442 114 or email care@perfectsmilespa.co.uk

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