The most effective step smokers can take to protect their oral health is to quit smoking. Even if you remove the stains, continuing to smoke will ensure that your teeth again become stained. If you have only smoked a few years, your whitening regimen is likely to be more effective. Smoking for longer than a few years can cause the stains to become more severe and difficult to remove.
Things You'll Need
- Powered toothbrush
- Whitening toothpaste
- Tooth whitening kit
- Sugarless gum
Brush your teeth gently two to three times daily and floss at least once per day. Use only a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard toothbrushes may damage your gums. Another option is a powered toothbrush. Motorized toothbrushes may remove surface stains more effectively, suggests RxList.
Use a whitening toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Look for a product that lists baking soda and peroxide as ingredients.
Use an at-home, ADA-approved kit for tooth whitening. Some kits offer whitening strips you press on your teeth. Other kits offer tooth trays filled with whitening agents. Different brands will have different instructions. You may need to use the kit every night for a week or two.
Chew sugarless gum throughout the day. While this is not an obvious whitening solution, RxList points out that chewing gum stimulates the release of saliva, which helps remove stains. It neutralizes acid, thus fighting tooth decay.
Eat healthy foods that stimulate the production of extra saliva. These include carrots, pears, celery and apples.
Ask your dentist about professional whitening. A dentist can whiten your teeth with bleaching agents. Perhaps you are a candidate for laser whitening. The efficacy of these whitening treatments depends upon the severity of your stains, according to the ADA. If your stains are yellow, the treatment is likely to be effective. Brown stains may bleach less effectively.
Tips & Warnings
- Visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings at least twice per year.
- Avoid using a tooth bleaching kit if you have veneers, crowns, bridges or other dental "appliances." These dental additions will not lighten in color, meaning your mouth will be two different shades.
- Photo Credit cleaning teeth image by pavel siamionov from Fotolia.com