Have you noticed your smile isn’t as white as it used to be? If you’re a coffee addict, we’ve got some bad news for you: Your java is discoloring your pearly whites. Dark colored beverages—wine and black teas included—can all stain your teeth. Because we know that sacrificing your cup of joe is out of the question, we’ve put together a couple of solutions to prevent coffee stains, bring back your smile, and keep it shining brightly.
The internet is home to a ton of do-it-yourself fixes to lift coffee stains from the surface of your teeth. Many of the most popular solutions suggest mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to make your own whitening kit. However, throwing together a Pinterest recipe is never a safe bet when dealing with your teeth’s delicate enamel. Because your teeth react to both basic and acidic solutions differently, we suggest that you shy away from popular, do-it-yourself recipes. And in no circumstance should you ever put one of these mixes on your veneers or crowns.
One of the proactive ways to keep your teeth stain-free is to use a whitening toothpaste. But buyer beware! Different brands of whitening toothpaste may not be made for daily use. You can easily tell which you can use in your normal, day-to-day routine by finding the words “daily use” written right on the brand’s box.
As you’re browsing in the toothpaste aisle, you’ll clearly see the brands that offer whitening toothpaste, but what exactly makes a toothpaste whitening? The secret is in the active ingredients. The American Dental Association (ADA) has approved certain kinds of toothpaste as “whitening” because they have additives that make the toothpaste even better at fighting the stains on your teeth or that help to polish your enamel. Some of the active ingredients you can expect to see are mild abrasives (such as magnesium carbonate, hydrated aluminum oxides, and calcium), small traces of hydrogen peroxide, or carbamide peroxide. These three stain-fighting heavy-hitters are all great ways to combat surface stains on your teeth. (In some cases, the discoloration of your teeth is not a stain, but your tooth’s actual color. Tooth discoloration can also be affected by the medications you’re on.) So after you’ve had about 10-12 weeks using a whitening toothpaste, what should you do if you’re not seeing results?
If you’re not seeing the results you want, it’s possible that the stains and discoloration are beyond the surface of your teeth, caused by more than coffee alone. In those cases, your dentist will likely recommend using a technique called chairside whitening. At your appointment, your dentist will apply a protective gel or rubber shield to your gums to protect them and use a bleaching agent to fight the deep stains within your teeth. They may even use a light or laser to enhance the effects of the bleach. When you’re done, you’ll walk away with what feels like a new set of pearly whites.
We know asking you to give up your coffee is a lost cause. Instead, we suggest you consider one of these whitening options to keep your best smile forward.
If you are concerned about your tooth sensitivity, or if you’re looking for more information about getting your teeth whitened, give Mogren Dental a call at 231-737-5500, or schedule your appointment online today!