The Best Way To Get Rid Of Stains On Your Teeth

Given the rise in popularity of vlogging and social media platforms, where a picture or video is worth a thousand words — and perhaps a thousand new followers — people are more conscious about their appearance than ever before. This, of course, includes the appearance of their teeth.

The pursuit of whiter teeth has also been on the rise due to the increase in online meetings on platforms, like Zoom. Teeth improvement has now become such a focus that it has been described as "the new boob job" (via The Guardian). It has even become enough of a phenomenon that it has sprouted a niche of "dental influencers" (via Get The Gloss).

"Zoom has been amazing for our industry," Dr. Uchenna Okoye, owner of a dental practice and dental influencer, told The Guardian. "People are staring at themselves and they see angles, like the side view of their face, what other people see of them."

How to brighten teeth safely and effectively

Anna Middleton, the founder of London Hygienist, told BDJ Team that the best way to remove stains from teeth varies from person to person. She adds that teeth naturally vary in color and shading due to the thickness of tooth enamel, so it's important to identify what is causing the discoloration before taking any whitening action.

Middleton also points out that there is a difference between stain removal and whitening. Stain removal is what is typically achieved at the dentist when you get your semi-annual cleaning. The hygienist uses special dental instruments to remove plaque deposits, followed by polishing. Whitening, on the other hand, is a process that involves hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which break the carbon bonds of the yellow stains on your teeth.

However, Middleton states that the only way to really whiten teeth safely and effectively is by getting professional treatment. Whitening toothpaste can have some whitening effects, but it can be abrasive and damage enamel. The experts at the Mayo Clinic align with this view, noting that whitening toothpaste can't change the natural color of your teeth. It also can't lighten a stain that goes deeper than a tooth's surface.

To maintain a bright smile, Middleton recommends brushing with an electric toothbrush, rinsing after you drink dark foods and liquids, chewing gum to increase saliva flow, avoiding smoking, and dialing back on red wine and coffee — and, of course, go for a cleaning at least once a year.