White, sparkling teeth are an outward sign of health and cleanliness. Unfortunately, even those who have perfect dental hygiene can have teeth that look discolored, due to coffee and tea stains. Are there any safe, effective ways to remove coffee and tea stains from your teeth, thus improving your self-image, confidence, and smile? Yes!
The first, and safest, method for lifting stains from teeth is to brush them with baking soda. It sounds odd, but baking soda is incredibly powerful, breaking up the stains in each tooth at a molecular level and scrubbing them away. It also polishes the surface of teeth, leaving them shiny and bright, and neutralizes bacteria and odors. What's more, baking soda is very safe, and it won't wear away protective enamel or cause tooth sensitivity.
To brush with baking soda, simply wet your toothbrush and lightly dip the brush into a new box of baking soda. When the bristles have a light coating of powder, brush! As you brush, make sure you reach every available surface of your teeth, and brush for at least two minutes to make sure the baking soda reaches every little space. It won't taste very good, but the strong salty flavor is worth it for the amazing results you'll get.
Another good way to remove stains is to bleach them out of the teeth. However, bleaching is less safe and can cause tooth sensitivity. There are many options out there if you want to bleach your teeth. An easy household method is to simply rinse your mouth with peroxide once a week or so, which will brighten teeth without weakening the enamel.
Over-the-counter whitening strips are a cheaper way to bleach teeth. Whitening strips are strips of plastic coated in bleaching gel, which you press to the surface of your teeth and leave in place for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time. These strips have mixed results, depending on how badly stained the teeth are. I have tried whitening strips myself, and while they did brighten my teeth considerably, they also caused sensitivity to cold foods and liquids. Therefore, I wouldn't recommend whitening strips for anyone who already has painful tooth sensitivity.
To help remove stains and prevent new stains from forming, brush your teeth after you have finished your cup of coffee or tea. If you have no access to a sink or time to brush your teeth after every cup, at least swish a few sips of water around your mouth or chew some sugarless gum. This will help wash away staining coffee or tea residue.
Finally, I'd like to briefly address a few myths related to removing coffee and tea stains from teeth. There's a lot of information circulating about rubbing strawberries on your teeth, or rinsing with lemon juice, to make your teeth whiter. Do not try these techniques, because not only do they not work, they can be harmful. The acidity in srawberries and lemon juice can wear away enamel, and worn enamel not only holds on to bacteria longer and becomes discolored faster, but causes tooth sensitivity and makes teeth more susceptible to cavities.
You are now armed with all the information you need to be on your way to a bright, beautiful, confident smile!