TobaccoStains on Teeth
It is no secret that tobacco use is bad for your health. It is a commonly accepted fact that prolonged exposure to tobacco can cause a multitude of health problems and, in serious cases, fatal disease. What some people fail to realize is how tobacco use negatively affects their oral health. Whether it is cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars or pipes, tobacco use wreaks havoc on your mouth in more ways than one. Aside from having tobacco stains on your teeth tobacco use will result in bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss and, more seriously, mouth cancer. Quitting smoking is easier said than done, and it can become less satisfying when the stubborn yellow/brown tobacco stains linger on your teeth long after you have kicked the habit.
How Tobacco Stains Teeth
Nicotine and tar are the two culprits in regard to tobacco stains on teeth. Nicotine by itself is a colorless substance, but when mixed with oxygen it turns yellow. When tobacco is inhaled or placed in the mouth, nicotine and tar settle into the oral cavity. These substances are able to leach their way into microscopic openings in our enamel, resulting in a yellow/brown discoloration of the tooth surface. Luckily, tobacco stains are extrinsic, meaning that they are on the outer layer of the tooth surface and can be removed.
Removing tobacco stains from teeth
The most obvious way to prevent tobacco stains from occurring is to quit smoking, or never start in the first place. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine by brushing at least twice a day, flossing each night before brushing and using anantiseptic mouthwash can help to prevent heavy staining and tar build-up, but it will not completely protect your teeth from discoloration caused by tobacco use. If you are unable to brush after each tobacco exposure, rinse thoroughly with water to remove as many harmful substances from your mouth as possible. It is important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Not only will the cleaning remove the stains, but your dentist and/or hygienist will do a thorough examination of all your oral tissues to ensure your tobacco use has not caused more serious problems. Some people who build up stain faster than others can opt for a cosmetic cleaning between regular visits to keep the discoloration to a minimum; this should not, however, take the place of a regular checkup.
There is no shortage of whitening toothpaste and “at home remedies” that claim to remove stains. Although some of these products may work, they are often abrasive and/oracidic and can damage your enamel. Over the counter white strips are only for the front of your teeth and have a hard time getting into all the nooks and crannies between teeth and along the gumline, making them less desirable for removing heavy tobacco stain. The most effective way to remove these stubborn stains is by having them bleached at your dentist’s office, or having custom trays made which can be done online using Smile Brilliant’s lab direct process or by your dentist. It is important to have a professional cleaning before starting these whitening procedures if you have not had one recently, because build up left on the teeth can cause blotchy results.
Tobacco stains are more stubborn than most other surface stains, and therefore take longer to remove. Even with custom teeth whitening trays, the process can take any where from one to three months to achieve the desired result. Although the time frame can seem discouraging, it is important to remember that professional whitening is the safest, most effective way to remove these stubborn stains. In office whitening procedures can be very costly; so many people opt for the custom trays. Lucky for you, these same teeth whitening trays at smilebrilliant.com are a fraction of the cost!