Most people know that their smile is one of the first things people respond to when greeting others. Because of this, a good smile is an important part of a person’s identity. However, for most people, getting to the place where there smile gleams a bright hello takes a bit of work.

Teeth Discoloration and Tooth Decay Causes

Over time, almost everyone’s teeth are subject to dulling and discoloration. While the basic enamel of teeth is usually strong in most people, discoloration of teeth can happen to anyone. Much of the discoloration of teeth can be attributed to the foods they eat or other habits they may have. Some habits like smoking damages teeth. It can cause discoloration in teeth and lead to gum problems as well as create a much higher risk of cancer, heart disease and lung disease. Because of this people who smoke should work on quitting for their overall health.

Another infamous problem for teeth that can cause tooth decay or tooth are sweets, sodas and caffeine. Too much of these can discolor teeth from staining and from tooth decay. Soda is widely recognized as quite toxic for teeth. This is in addition to it causing an increase in a whole host of other physical ailments.

Additionally, too much caffeine is widely known to stain teeth and when added with larger amounts of sugar it can lead to tooth decay and tooth discoloration. Sweet treats such as candy and sugary desserts can cause an onslaught of excess sugar to build up on teeth. This of course leads to tooth decay and tooth discoloration. Teeth that are damaged inside can discolor from the tooth decay.

Taking Action Against Tooth Decay and Teeth Discoloration

The good news is there are ways to counter both tooth decay and teeth discoloration. When it comes to tooth decay, brushing two to three times a day can certainly help. Cutting back on soda intake is recommended for the health of teeth and overall health. Intake of soda has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and teeth decay. When it comes to sweets and caffeine, it is also recommended to keep these down to a minimum for both the health of teeth and overall physical health as well.

Another important consideration is for people who use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash against periodontal disease. While hydrogen peroxide does indeed help battle against periodontal disease, it can also stain teeth with a darker shade almost yellowing them on occasion. All hydrogen peroxide used as a mouth wash should be diluted with a bit of water to help lessen any discoloration tendencies.

Teeth Whitening at Home

When it comes to whitening teeth, there are some great ways that people can work on this at home. One of the first lines of defense is with the regular use of teeth whitening toothpastes. It is important to note that not all toothpastes are the same. Certain whitening toothpastes have been recommended by the American Dental Association as being most conducive to healthy teeth whitening.

There are also tooth whitening mouthwashes as well. Like toothpaste, it is best to check the ingredients of the mouthwash and lean towards using those most recommended by the ADA (American Dental Association) Some can carry larger amounts of alcohol, coloring and sweeteners like aspartame each of which come with their own health concerns.

One of the better home treatments for whitening teeth is teeth whitening strips. These are sold at most pharmacies and everyday department stores like Kmart and Target. Like toothpastes, not all whitening strips are the same. Some work more quickly than others and have different levels of long-term effects.

As with all dental care products, checking with the ADA, consumer protection and consumer review websites, it is easier to learn which ones are most effective and which ones are the healthiest to use. While the effects of most of these are not immediate, many of them can be effective over time.

For longer term teeth whitening, a dental office can provide teeth with whitening treatments that work well at keeping them healthy and bright. In addition, regular dental visits can help protect against tooth decay and tooth loss.