It’s almost impossible to get a set of pristine pearlie whites. That’s because the food and beverages we take affects our teeth. We ask Dr Paul Wong, Dental Surgeon, T32 Dental Centre a few frequently asked questions.
Causes Of Teeth Stains
Tea, coffee and red wine will stain your teeth. Having a glass of water immediately after you’re finished will reduce the amount of staining that accumulates on your teeth.
Mouth breathing is also something that increases staining as it dries the teeth and allows pigments to stick. If your child is a mouth breather, see a dentist or an ENT specialist for an assessment. Chronic mouth breathing in children can also alter how their face and teeth develop, narrowing the dental arches and lengthening the face- a much bigger cosmetic problem than stained teeth.
Once stains have become established, there’s not much you can do about it at home. Visit the dentist for a professional clean. We have a variety of vibrating scalers, rotating brushes and abrasive powders that can accomplish what your toothbrush can’t. Once the external stains are removed, you can see what colour your teeth truly are.
Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?
Brushing with “whitening toothpastes” don’t really lighten the colour of your teeth, but the increased abrasiveness of these pastes can scrub off the coffee and wine pigments before they become too established.
Brushing helps reduce stain accumulation, but some parents are not aware that children’s teeth have to be brushed from the moment they appear, putting them at risk of staining and decay. Please brush baby’s teeth as soon as they appear morning and night, just like you are doing for yourself.
How Can I Make My Teeth Whiter?
If they’re still not white and bright enough for you, we can bleach the enamel with hydrogen peroxide, in the form of in-office whitening and take-home kits. Hydrogen peroxide does not damage teeth, but it can cause tooth sensitivity and burn your gums so it needs to be handled with care. Make sure your dentist shows you how to use a take-home kit safely effectively and picks the appropriate bleach concentration for your needs.
These answers were answered by Dr Paul Wong, Dental Surgeon, T32 Dental Centre
Camden Medical Centre
One Orchard Boulevard, 17th Floor
Tel: (65) 6733 1388
Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.