Foods to avoid for healthy teeth

Want to grin more brightly? Here are a few things to consider before exploring your ideal option. Firstly, teeth range in light greyish-yellow hues in their natural state. Tobacco use, consumption of certain foods and beverages, and the natural aging process can cause the buildup of surface stains, ultimately impacting the appearance of teeth and causing them to darken over time.

Foods that stain teeth

Coffee and tea
Red and white wine
Sports drinks
Citrus foodstuff
Sauces (Soy, tomato)
Food colouring
Starchy foods

Foods that whiten teeth naturally

Fruits (Strawberries, Apples, Oranges and Pineapples)
Baking soda
Milk products (Yogurt, milk, cheese)

While teeth are not naturally designed to be entirely white, many people desire a more radiant smile. As a response to this demand, various options have been made available to consumers. Surface whiteners (extrinsic) and bleaches (intrinsic) are the two main categories these products fall into. You have two alternatives to teeth whitening: in-office bleaching or at-home treatment.

At-home systems contain from 3% to 20% peroxide (carbamide or hydrogen peroxides).
In-office systems contain from 15% to 43% peroxide.

You often see advertisements related to toothpaste, chewing gums and whitening pens. These utilize fine abrasives, therefore, do not cause excessive harm to the tooth. Nonetheless, these products should not be used in place of expert cleaning because they are only effective on surface stains.

On the other hand, most bleaching products are peroxide-based and can alter the tooth’s colours. However, not all tooth discolorations respond to tooth-bleaching treatments. Individuals contemplating tooth bleaching should consult a dentist to determine the cause of the tooth discolouration and whether a bleaching treatment will have the desired result. This step is crucial for patients with fillings, root canal treatments, crowns and extremely dark stains on the anterior teeth.

The two types of methods that your dentist will consider are vital and non-vital bleaching.

If your teeth have become stained by food or tobacco or have grown dark with age, you can use vital bleaching to whiten them. Vital bleaching is a procedure performed on “living” teeth to remove stains and restore their natural whiteness.

Bleaching done to teeth that are no longer “alive” is known as non-vital bleaching. Non-vital bleaching can lighten your teeth from the inside out if a root canal has caused colour changes.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

The armamentarium a dentist uses usually has quicker, safer and better results than at-home options. Furthermore, the consistency of the peroxide gel and the inclusion of desensitizers help in better controlling tooth and gum sensitivity. However, it is much heavier on the pocket. Regardless, the results remain unforeseeable due to multifactorial causes and are temporary. In addition, stains caused by trauma, antibiotics such as tetracycline, excessive fluoride exposure and inorganic pigments are resistant to in-office treatment.

On average, the cost can range between $650 to $1000.

At-Home Teeth Whitening

There are many options to explore in this modality:Toothpaste and chewing gums – contain mild abrasives (activated charcoal, silica, calcium pyrophosphate, etcetera), polishing and buffing agents, carbamide, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyapatite. The pros are the cost ($3-$30) and accessibility. On the downside, these products are not as effective as the contact time is insufficient to produce drastic effects.

Tray systems – This method whitens teeth by filling a mouth guard-like tray with a bleaching paste or gel that contains peroxide and applying it to the teeth for one to several hours each day for up to four weeks. You can obtain a custom-fitted tray-based tooth whitening system from your dentist or purchase one off the shelf. The price might be between $150 and $600. Most people get the desired benefits after 2-3 weeks of daily application. However, more obstinate yellowing may require 6-8 weeks. Be careful not to bleach your teeth more than once a year for several weeks. Never buy over-the-counter gels with a concentration higher than 10% to use at home. Your teeth could get incredibly sensitive if you do.

Tooth whitening strips and gels – These peroxide-based tooth-whitening treatments typically require application once or twice daily for 10 to 14 days, directly to the teeth with a brush or a thin strip. Results last for at least four months and might range in price from $10 to $55.

The general public can purchase home tooth-bleaching systems from a dentist or several retail establishments. Clinical studies show that bleaching gels for home use are safe and effective. During a whitening procedure, tooth discomfort and soft tissue irritation might happen. But these side effects are temporary. However, since the result is short-lasting, and many people end up undergoing frequent whitening procedures, we still need to explore the implications of long-term teeth bleaching.

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