Q: Hello Dr Ketch. I appreciate your efforts to see that people stay healthy. My question: is there anything that one can do to make ones brown teeth to be white again?
A: Thanks for writing in. Brown teeth can be embarrassing. Smoking, drinking coffee, wine, tea etc can cause this. Generally brightly coloured foods like some candies, berries and sauces also have the potential to stain teeth if they are left on the surface long enough.
To prevent these stains, try the following tips:
Avoid or significantly reduce the amount of these fluids or foods in your typical diet.
If you can’t avoid them, then reduce the amount of time the foods or fluids have contact with your teeth by chewing and swallowing promptly. Yes, I know I’ve said you should chew intentionally so that your tummy has the chance to receive signals from the brain which tell it that it’s full 😀 But, in this instance, we’re trying to choose the lesser of two evils 😀
Use straws. These will ensure that the fluids get little contact time with your teeth.
Learn to swish your teeth with water after you’ve taken any of these foods to ‘wash’ away the residue of the stain-causing foods.
As for what to do if you already have stained teeth, I reproduce one of my posts on that subject:
There are easily obtainable teeth whitening tooth pastes. They help remove surface stains that may be caused by coffee or nicotine.
When whitening paste is used at least twice a day for a period of time between 2 to 6 weeks, significant results are seen. However, care has to be taken to ensure that these pastes are used according to the manufactures’ instructions otherwise, they can cause erosion of the enamel of the teeth.
Please note that the whitening tooth pastes do not alter the natural colour of your teeth and by extension are not also useful, if the stain is deeper than the surface of your teeth! 😀
Whitening strips and gels are also available. Apart from all these, there are a couple more sophisticated treatments available from the dentists’. So check with yours.
Beyond all these, please don’t forget the place of regular brushing of teeth in the maintenance of a bright and gorgeous set of teeth.
Fruits like apples and strawberries actually contain substances that help whiten the teeth. So, just like the doctor ordered…an apple a day, keeps the doctor (and the dentist :D) away.
A DIY (Do It Yourself) solution is to mix the juice of one lemon with one or two pinches of baking soda. Then dip a cotton ball into this and leave this on your teeth for 1 minute ONLY! Yes, I had to scream that for emphasis 😀 If you leave it longer than that, the lemon juice can lead to the erosion of the enamel. So, if you can’t manage this, please just see your doctor who will suggest other solutions too or get it done for you professionally.